Leading players, industry thought leaders and key regulators in the international Islamic banking and finance industry will take part in the 19th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2012), which is set to commence on December 9, 2012 at the Gulf Hotel in the Kingdom of Bahrain. More than 1,200 industry leaders from over 50 countries set to join 94 international speakers in Bahrain to discuss new growth strategies for Islamic finance. Held under the theme “Islamic Finance: Adapting to the New Dynamics of Global Finance”, the three day event is convened under the patronage of Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain and is supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain. Commenting on the Central Bank of Bahrain’s support for the event, Khalid Hamad Abdul-Rahman Hamad, Executive Director — Banking Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain said: “The banking sector will witness considerable local and international regulatory changes, and the people who are in charge of managing banks need to adapt to these new realities. The World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) will be a high profile platform to examine these realities and focus on these constraints. I hope that the discussions that will take place during the 19th Annual WIBC between leaders of the banking sector will enhance the industry.” Speaking to the media ahead of the event, David McLean, Chief Executive of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) said: “The global Islamic financial services industry continues to experience double digit growth, with recent estimates indicating that global Shari’ah-compliant assets now stand between $1.1 -1.3 trillion. The range of products and services offered has also widened from primarily retail banking products to more sophisticated capital market instruments catering to a global audience.” A similar view was expressed by Abdul-Kareem Abu Al-Nasr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Commercial Bank who noted: “Continuing on its successful high growth trajectory, the Islamic finance industry is now poised for its next phase of global expansion. As a unique form of financial intermediation, Islamic finance incorporates several elements that guide the process of the mobilisation and allocation of funds to generate productive economic activity and inclusive development thereby becoming an important avenue for international fund raising and investment activities, generating significant cross-border flows.” “The National Commercial Bank has been supporting the World Islamic Banking Conference for many years now and we see this event as one of those important global gatherings which undoubtedly plays a key role in facilitating dialogue among the international industry leaders”, he said.