Big opportunities to expand partnership - Saudi Economy Minister
ASTANA. March 12. KAZINFORM. /Muratbek Makulbekov/ With the global crisis consequences continuing, it is primarily important for Kazakhstan to use more effective stimulus tools. The Law “On amendments and additions to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the issues of establishment and activity of Islamic banks and organizations of Islamic financing” adopted in February 2009 is supposed to create the conditions for introduction of the Islamic financing instruments. Minister of Economy and Planning of Saudi Arabia Dr Khalid bin Muhammad Al-Qusaibi, who is taking part in the II Astana Economic Forum “The Economic Security of Eurasia in the System of Global Risks”, shared his viewing of the prospects of further development of Kazakh-Saudi relations in the context of the new law in an interview with Kazinform. How do you estimate the condition and prospects of development of trade and economic cooperation between our countries? We know that Kazakhstan’s economy develops successfully and has great growth potential. Partnership relations between the two countries are good enough, but I am confident we have great opportunities to expand our partnership. Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia plan to hold a joint forum of businessmen in May 2009. I think this event will boost trade economic cooperation between the businessmen of our countries. As for broadening cooperation, it depends on the activity of the business sector. Businessmen should carry through all agreements and arrangements reached between our countries. We provide all possible support for entrepreneurs who wish to establish partnership relations with Kazakh colleagues. What effect will the new amendments to Kazakhstan’s legislation on introduction of Islamic financing instruments have on the economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia? First of all I would like to note that Islamic banking and Islamic financing are widespread not only within the Persian Gulf region, but also all over the world. The world largest banks open special departments which study the instruments of Islamic financing. In Kazakhstan the spheres and focus of Islamic banks’ activity and practice of Islamic financing instruments will be determined by the legislation. Certainly, new amendments will broaden the scope of activity of Islamic financial institutes and positively influence the development of economy. This will encourage putting into practice those opportunities of broadening our partnership I mentioned earlier. We have spoken a lot about the advantages of Islamic banking. What is the main difference between Islamic financing and traditional European financing? The most important thing in the system of Islamic financing is that it is fully based on partnership between financial institutes and entrepreneurs. Islamic financing is not limited to lending. A bank lending funds for a project becomes its immediate participant, i.e. a partner. Therefore it implies full control over implementation of the project and, as a result the financial discipline is strengthened.