U.S And Malaysian Banks Can Join Forces In Islamic Financial Services

NEW YORK, May 20 (Bernama) — International Trade and Industry Minister
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin called on American bankers Monday to join
forces with their Malaysian counterparts in the area of Islamic
financial services.

Urging them to cooperate to enter markets in Asean and the Middle
East, Muhyiddin said demand for Islamic financial products and
investments was increasing, especially in the Middle East.

In addition, demand for such products was also on the rise in the
non-Muslim economies in the West, he said at an investment seminar here.

The Malaysia-US Business Opportunities seminar, attended by about
200 representatives from the business sector, was held in conjunction
with a trade and investment mission led by the minister.

Covering Detroit and New York in one week from May 13, the
46-member mission comprises government officials and representatives of
the private sector. “Malaysia is keen to capitalise on these growth
trends and has since positioned itself as an international hub for
Islamic banking,” Muhyiddin said.

He said Islamic finance has evolved to become an integral part of
the international financial system and was now being offered in more
than 75 countries with an asset size of over US$1 trillion

“It is envisaged that by 2010, Islamic banking will constitute more than 20 percent of the global Islamic banking,” he added.

Muhyiddin also said that Malaysia has been cited as a model for
good governance and has one of the most extensive and effective
regulatory Syariah and legal framework for Islamic banking and finance.

He also encouraged American businessmen to source halal products
from Malaysia as well as to explore new market opportunities with their
Malaysian counterparts.

The minister said Malaysian halal products were gaining
international recognition and they were able to meet stringent
benchmarks such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and
Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Malaysia has distinct advantages in the supply of halal products,
he said. On another note, Muhyiddin said Malaysia’s trade with the
United States increased four-fold to US$43.4 billion in 2007 from
US$9.9 billion in 1990.

Malaysia’s total trade with the US, through the Port of New York
and New Jersey in 2007, was valued at US$2.4 billion, up by 20 percent
compared with US$2 billion in 2006.

New York, the last leg of the trade and investment mission, is the
leading centre of banking, finance and communications in the US.