MALAYSIA wants to broaden and deepen its Islamic capital base particularly in Islamic equities, private debt securities and fund management activities, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.
He said Malaysia was building up the requisite infrastructure framework in its effort to be an Islamic financial centre for the region.
“Currently, financial and capital markets are being developed in tandem with the varied needs of the rapidly changing domestic and global economy,” he added.
Mustapa said this in his keynote address at a luncheon hosted by HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd in conjunction with the ongoing second Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Business Forum in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
He said the Government was committed to ensure Malaysia remained an attractive destination for foreign investors.
“It is vital for Malaysia to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of its economy to sustain economic growth under increasingly severe global circumstances,” said Mustapa, who is also National Economic Action Council executive director.
In opening to foreign investors, he said the local economy must be exposed to modern technology, management techniques and work discipline.
Mustapa said to spearhead competitiveness and new directions for the private sector, the Government was taking steps to transform Government-linked companies by focusing on measurable performance indicators and the investment plans of these strategic players in the economy.
Deloitte Malaysia financial services director David Vicary, speaking at the forum on Coming of Age: Challenges & Prospects of Islamic Financial Instrument in the World Economy, said the challenges in store included the issue of marketing of and education in Islamic finance, need for greater product innovation and research into syariah compliance and perception of Islamic banks among global markets.
He said there were growing opportunities in the Islamic capital market in view of the “trillions of US dollars worth of funds” looking for a market to call home.