The 9th Islamic Finance Conference titled “Islamic Finance and Challenges of Web 3.0” kicked off at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha, Qatar, yesterday. The conference focused on the growing significance of Islamic finance around the globe and the impact of the Metaverse on the financial sector. The event was attended by prominent experts and industry leaders from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and beyond, highlighting the importance of the financial sector in Qatar’s economy.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, H E Sheikh Muhammad bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Thani, emphasized the critical role played by the financial sector in Qatar’s economy, which is one of the fastest-growing economies in the region. He said that the adoption of advanced technology and digital transformation had helped the country make great strides in the financial sector, enabling it to become a leader in the GCC region.
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The Minister went on to note that Qatar had achieved an economic growth rate of four per cent and a budget surplus of over QR89bn last year, despite many external shocks and global economic challenges. This resilience, he said, had made Qatar one of the most vibrant economies in the world and the fifth-largest market for Islamic finance.
During the conference, experts discussed the challenges posed by Web 3.0, the next generation of the internet, to Islamic finance. Web 3.0 is expected to transform the way we interact with the digital world, with the Metaverse being a prime example of this shift. The Metaverse is a virtual space that allows users to interact with each other and digital objects in a three-dimensional environment.
Experts at the conference highlighted the potential of the Metaverse to disrupt the financial sector and change the way we transact and invest. They discussed the need for Islamic finance to adapt to these changes, ensuring that the principles of Shariah compliance are upheld in this new digital landscape.
The conference also highlighted the initiatives taken by the Qatari government to develop a vibrant financial sector in line with its 2030 National Vision. The Vision aims to transform Qatar into a diversified and sustainable economy, with a strong focus on innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.
In addition to discussing the challenges posed by Web 3.0, the conference also emphasized the need for greater collaboration between Islamic finance institutions to achieve sustainable growth. Experts called for increased cooperation between industry stakeholders to enhance the transparency, stability, and efficiency of the Islamic finance system.
The conference also highlighted the importance of financial inclusion and the role of Islamic finance in promoting financial access for underserved communities. Experts noted that Islamic finance could play a vital role in providing innovative and ethical financial solutions to individuals and businesses, particularly those in developing countries.
However, the 9th Islamic Finance Conference provided a platform for experts to discuss the growing significance of Islamic finance in the digital age and the challenges posed by Web 3.0. The conference highlighted the importance of the financial sector in Qatar’s economy and the initiatives taken by the Qatari government to develop a vibrant financial sector in line with its National Vision 2030. The conference ended on a positive note, with participants expressing their optimism about the future of Islamic finance and the potential of the Metaverse to create new opportunities for growth and innovation.