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International Forum on Unlocking Islamic Finance Potential in CPEC and Beyond
January 17: The Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance (CEIF), IBA held an International Forum on ‘Unlocking Islamic Finance Potential in CPEC and Beyond’ at IBA City Campus. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), often called a ‘game-changer’ in this region, primarily consists of $45 billion worth of domestic infrastructure projects planned by the government of Pakistan. IBA-CEIF, initiated in 2015 has done remarkable work; among all 3 centers in Pakistan, it is the most active.
In this Forum, the effects and impact of CPEC on the Islamic Finance industry in Pakistan were analyzed, since it provides a great opportunity for the industry to channelize excess liquidity into innovative financing instruments. High profile panelists representing the governments of Pakistan and China, Islamic Finance Experts, Academicians and Regulators discussed how this sector can capitalize on growth opportunities stemming from CPEC and related projects.
The conference commenced with recitation from the Holy Quran followed by opening remarks by Mr. Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, Director, CEIF. Welcoming the audience, Mr. Ahmed said that, ‘Today’s event is a continuation of CEIF’s efforts to provide its strategic input and gather all stakeholders at a common platform. Moreover, this forum is a continuation of a round table conference held in December 2016. Since CPEC passes through 27 Muslim countries, it is not right to ignore its potential impact on the field of Islamic finance. We should ty to get the maximum benefit from this. Keeping in mind the Pakistani culture and Muslim majority population, the onus is on us that the financing for CPEC is structured in a Sharia compliant manner. All major stakeholders have to act fast to ensure a seamless flow. Thus, it is a critical topic to be discussed.’ Mr. Siddiqui also hoped that this forum will provide food for thought on how to further make CPEC a strategic asset for Pakistan.
Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, Dean and Director, IBA, was then called on stage. With more than 30 years of management and research experience in the World Bank - across a range of countries; Dr. Iqbal has considerable experience in the field of development. He commenced his address by welcoming the audience, consisting of various distinguished persons from the SBP, Islamic banks and guests from China. He said that the work of the World Bank has essentially been related to long term financing – funds are lent for thirty plus years for development purposes. Since CPEC is a development project, Islamic finance is very critical for long term development of finance. The potential is enormous. However, it has not been properly exploited in Pakistan and neither in any other country. An exception is the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia. He further elaborated that Islamic Finance is a good instrument to use for long term development finance projects. He also congratulated the organizers for taking the initiative to hold this conference since this is an aspect, which has not been talked about.
This was followed by a keynote address by Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, President & CEO Meezan Bank. Fifteen years ago, when the idea of Islamic banking was introduced, Meezan Bank was a small bank. With the initiative of Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, Meezan Bank is now the eight largest bank in Pakistan. The first question which Mr. Siddiqui raised was whether ‘CPEC would be a game-changer? In order to answer this, it is significant to understand what the CPEC is exactly. It is a project, which covers 60 countries – more than half of these are Islamic. It will also reduce the distance of Western China to Europe by 5000 km, a distance taking around 45 shipping days. Consequently, working capital requirements also reduce by one quarter. Mr. Irfan further said that China is the largest spender on tourism and if 1% of the tourism money - which the Chinese spend worldwide is invested in Pakistan than that amount will be greater than all the income earned by the tourism industry in Pakistan. It is important to understand that CPEC is not just a need of China but also Pakistan – creating a win-win situation. It is also significant for the young generation to learn Chinese since China is one of our friendliest neighbors, considering Pakistan’s hostile relations with India and Afghanistan, and sanctions on Iran, which have adversely affected its economy.
Mr. Saeed Ahmed, Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, then addressed the audience. He mentioned how policymakers all over the world are taking a keen interest in Islamic banking especially after the recession of 2007. The size of the global Islamic finance industry is also approximately Rs. 2 trillion now. The right way to finance projects under the CPEC– ports, roads, motorways – is not from commercial banks, but from specifically designed products by Islamic banks such as Ijarat. He also discussed the role of the SBP in encouraging Islamic banking, by allowing them to have a liquidity ratio of 14%. He also emphasized that it is also essential to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between Islamic Banks and Chinese representatives. This will bring forward new ideas and strategies, thereby stimulating the growth of the Islamic finance industry.
The last speaker of the first session was Dr. Nadeem Javaid, Chief Economist, Government of Pakistan, Ministry for Planning, Development and Reform. He stated that there are four main components of CPEC: Energy, Infrastructure Development, Economic Incentives and Industrial Cooperation. He said that CPEC will greatly lower the per unit cost of energy, incentives such as exemption from local duties and materials, whereas suspension of trade union activities, will give opportunities to investors. Therefore, designing cost-effective, Shariah compliant finance options is the need of the hour. He predicted that the economic dividends of CPEC will be so high that even India might join this project eventually.
The second session was based on the theme ‘CPEC Opportunities for Islamic Finance Industry’, with some of the key topics being infrastructure development, trade finance and spillover opportunities in the cement, steel and energy sectors. The panelists were Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Dr. Zahir Shah, Mr. Irfan Siddiqui, Dr. Nasir Afghan, IBA Faculty, and Mr. Li Xiaoxin (David), Deputy CEO of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Limited. The session was chaired by Dr. Nadeem Javaid. In this session, the historical changes in China under Deng Xiao Ping were discussed along with the contribution of Hong Kong and Taiwan to the Chinese economy. Another perspective was also given which stated that Pakistan is not ready for CPEC since our banks have failed to target the population living in rural areas – only 16% of the population uses banks. However, the fact that CPEC will lead to 2-3% growth in Pakistan’s GDP cannot be overlooked. Dr. Afghan voiced his apprehensions over CPEC and said the initiative focuses more on economy than benefitting the people of Pakistan and hence it should be more about the people and not only about the economy. Mr. Li on the other hand opined that CPEC’s emphasis on developing infrastructure will ultimately benefit the Pakistani nation and help Pakistan progress. After this, the house was opened for questions.
The third session was based on the theme ‘Financing CPEC Opportunities for Islamic Finance Industry’. The panelists were Mr. Junaid Ahmed, CEO, Dubai Islamic Bank, Mr. Syed Samar Hasnain, Mr. Hasan A. Bilgrami, President & CEO Bank Islami, Mr. Mirza Saleem Baig, Head – Islamic Banking, Habib Bank Limited and Dr. Sulaiman Liu Jiujiang, Senior Partner & Co-founder, Al Sadiq Consulting. The relationship between trade finance and correspondent banking was discussed, along with the vital role of foreign currency in long term financing in today’s increasingly globalized world. Dr. Sulaiman said that so far 70 projects were in the pipeline for CPEC and its significance transcended Pakistan & China as through CPEC’s strategic location, we are looking to touch a 3 Billion population market, which will make it the most attractive investment hub within the region.
The fourth session based on the theme ‘Product Need Assessment’. The speakers consisted of Mr. Amir Ali, SEVP and Group Head, Meezan Bank, Dr. Sulaiman Liu Jiujiang, Mufti Irshad Ahmed Aijaz, Chairman Shariah Supervisory Board, Bank Islami, Mr. Muhammad Nasir Ali Syed, and Dr. Muhammad Imran Ashraf Usmani, Group Head Product Development and Shariah. Mr. Amir Ali said there is potential in the Islamic banking industry to participate in CPEC projects. However, challenges arise when using Shariah compliant products, since profit cannot be accrued with RMB Sukuk. A bilateral agreement was also signed in 2011 between Pakistan and China consisting of Rs. 110 billion worth of projects. This was further extended in 2013. Pakistan’s debt to GDP ratio is also quite high – 65%. Financing for these projects may lead to an increase. Moreover, the GDP growth rate of Pakistan is 4-5%; economic growth, transactions and the GDP growth rate will pick up to 6-7% in the next three or four years. Thus, Islamic banks should get involved actively. Additionally, Mr. Usmani spoke about how Musharakah and Mubaradah are flexible schemes, which allow accruals. Mr. Sulaiman mentioned how 40% of the Pakistan Stock Exchange has been acquired by the Chinese – this is an indicator of stronger Pak-China ties.
The conference was concluded by Mr. Siddiqui who thanked the audience, faculty members, the staff at CEIF and the sponsors. Sponsors for this forum were Bank Islami (Platinum Sponsor), Meezan Bank (Gold Sponsor) and Dubai Islamic Bank (Silver Sponsor). It was an extremely informative and enlightening session since CPEC was discussed from the lens of Islamic financing. One hopes that IBA-CEIF continues to organize such insightful sessions in the future.




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Pak-Afghan Relations: Countering Misperceptions and Negative Narratives

January 11, 2017: A guest talk was held by two members of the Pak-Afghan Joint Committee on Track II bilateral dialogue at the Meeting Room, Aman-CED Building, IBA Main Campus. The theme of the discussion was ‘Pak-Afghan relations: Countering Misperceptions and Negative Narratives’. The Speaker from the Pakistan side was former ambassador, Mian Sanaullah, and from the Afghan side, Mr. Khalid Pashtoon. Mr. Imtiaz Gul, Executive Director, Center for Research and Security Studies, and Mr. Qazi Humayun, former Pakistan ambassador to Pakistan were also present. Dr. Bilal Munshi, Assistant Professor, Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, IBA was the moderator for the discussion.

The session commenced with short introductions given by the students, followed by introductions from the guest speakers. Mr. Mian Sanaullah, having considerable experience at various diplomatic missions during his illustrious career, discussed how Pakistan and Afghanistan do not have strong political relations. The Afghan leadership believes that Pakistan is not a sincere friend. However, what is the truth? Nobody knows the answer to that question. Moreover, the future is uncertain with President-elect Donald Trump. The idea of peace returning to the region is not quite possible, according to Mr. Sanaullah. According to him, this essentially brings us to the point that each of us has a responsibility to remove mistrust so that we can understand each other’s aspirations.

Following, this Mr. Pashtoon, a Member of the Afghan Parliament, started on a positive note by discussing the similarities between Afghans and Pakistanis. He talked about how he had spent a year in Karachi in 1981, since Pakistan had become a safe haven for Afghanis fleeing the Soviet invasion. Relations between the two countries were somewhat better. However, with the creation of the Taliban, the Afghan government turned cold towards Pakistan, blaming it for destabilizing the region. This was essentially where the blame game started. Mr. Khalid was of the opinion that Afghanistan expects more from Pakistan, and one only expects help from a friend. The role of India in Pak-Afghan relations was also discussed. India, being one of the largest economies in the region, has considerably helped Afghanistan economically, socially and militarily. According to Mr. Pashtoon, this was perhaps the main reason why ties between Afghanistan and India have become stronger over the years.

Mr. Qazi Humayun, continued on this note by talking about the international situation – how the world is no longer unipolar but rather multipolar. Moreover, India’s part in this region has been enhanced, due to the hegemonic aspirations of the present government. He also clarified Pakistan’s ethos towards the Taliban – that we are actively opposing them.

The floor was then opened for discussion whereby questions were raised by students and faculty members. Mr. Imtiaz Gul again clarified that Pakistan’s ambivalent stance towards the Taliban ended in March 2007. A significant reason for this was the killing of Pakistani military generals and soldiers in North and South Waziristan by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. According to him, India is also involved in the dirty politics of the region. When former Ambassador, Tariq Aziz, was held in captivity by the Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud revealed to him how India had offered him help. A meeting of the top 12 security advisers was also held in India in 2009, which led to a report titled ‘How to deal with an obstinate Pakistan?’ A recommendation was given to conduct covert and overt operations in Baluchistan. The Indians felt that Baluchistan could be separated from Pakistan just like Bangladesh. Upon hearing this, the atmosphere in the room got more serious.

Questions regarding the Durand Line, which was created by the British, and the status of Afghan refugees were also raised. To the latter, Mr. Khalid Pashtoon replied that he tries to ignore this problem and advises his colleagues to do the same. He also said that a decision regarding the refugees is also being made but nothing has been revealed to the media yet. At this point, the discussion got quite heated, as Mr. Pashtoon was defensive of Afghan policies, while Mr. Imtiaz Gul was criticizing the Afghan government’s actions. Mr. Sanaullah tried to cool down the talk by stating how the blame game always results in negativity and misunderstanding. He also said that in inter-state relations, there is no religion. If this were so then Bhutan and India, and Nepal and India would have strong ties. In the end, Mr. Pashtoon expressed hope that ties between the two counties would improve and there should be more projects like TAPI (Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline) which will benefit this region.

The students then awarded shields to Mr. Khalid Pashtoon, Mr. Qazi Humayun and Mr. Sanaullah for sharing their knowledge and wisdom with the IBA Faculty and students. A group photograph was taken in the Aman-CED foyer, followed by refreshments for all the attendees. 
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Spring 2017 Induction of MBA (Executive) - Dec 31, 2016

Alhammad O Lillah this spring over 300 professionals are studying at IBA for their MBA(Executive) degree. On Saturday, December 31, 2016 a new batch comprising 58 participants joined the program. An impressive, welcoming event was organized at the beginning of Spring semester that was attended by IBA Dean and Director Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, Program Director and his team and officials from Administration department. The proceedings commenced with Tilwat e Quran by Mr. Samar Nawaz, newly joined participant. Mr. Munawar, Program Manager, welcomed the participants and displayed a documentary of the IBA e). Other team members of the program, Mr. Arshad Zia, Mr. Safder Abbas and Mr. Soomar Laghari were also present to manage and greet the participants.

On this occasion Dr. Farrukh Iqbal spoke about the concurrent efforts to bring IBA program s at par with international standards. He urged the participants to take full advantage of their presence at the campus for nearly three years and get maximum benefits from peer to peer learning, interacting with learned faculty. Program Director, Mr. Saleem Umer comprehensively covered all program aspects, usefulness and market response to the program. Ms. Shabana Amirali, Manager administration presented the Basic Rules & Regulations of IBA.

This Spring 58 new participants joined including four MBA students opted to study in the week-end program. Four IBA qualified bachelors also joined the program. The diversity is the beauty of MBA (Executive) aspirants. Following educational background is an indication of diversity:

- Engineers (BE/BSc) 17
- Computer Science professional (BS/CS graduates) 09
- Finance professionals (ACCA/CA) 21
- Marketing /Supply Chain professionals ( BBA/MBA including 4 BBA from ) IBA 08
- Other (Pharm D etc. ) 03

MBA (Executive) managing team, wish all the best to the newly joined participants and believes that these participants will make a big difference in the corporate world.

Please visit our fbpage to view more pictures.

https://www.facebook.com/EMBA-IBA-708670925859000/

Muhammad Munawar
Program Manager
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Jan 2, 2017: Lecture on "Infrastructure & the Production of Peripheries in Pakistan" by Prof. Majed Akhtar - Indiana University (USA)

The Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts (SSLA) at IBA began the new year with a successful event. On January 2, 2017, Professor Majed Akhtar from the Department of Geography at Indiana University (USA) delivered a lecture titled "Infrastructure and the Production of Peripheries in Pakistan: Notes Towards a Spatial Political Economy of the New Silk Road". The lecture focused on the politics of infrastructure planning in Pakistan, making theoretical linkages between the current debate around the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as part of Beijing’s One Belt One Road policy, and earlier projects like the Kalabagh Dam. It also examined the historical, geopolitical and global economic dynamics that provide the context for these developments.

Professor Akhtar's lecture was immediately followed by a panel discussion on "The Politics of CPEC: Formulating a Research Agenda". The participants were Dr. Nausheen H. Anwar (SSLA, IBA), Dr. Fahd Ali (Habib University) and Mr. Khurram Husain (Dawn newspaper). They gave thoughtful responses to the lecture based upon their own research experiences and challenged the audience to think critically about a range of topics. The SSLA Chair, Dr. Faiza Mushtaq, thanked the guests for a comprehensive discussion and for getting 2017 off to a great start for the upcoming activities of the Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts.
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10-12, Jan 2016: 3 Days Capacity Building Workshop - THP Batch 2016 at YDC, Punjab House Muree (Punjab)

http://iba.edu.pk/News/3DaysCapacityBuildingWorkshop-THPBatch2016atYDCPunjabHouseMureePunjab.pdf
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UGRD Spring 2017 semester at IBA Karachi
Good News!

All those Undergraduate applicants of Fall 2016 semester who deferred their admissions at that time and now fulfill the academic requirement of the program and would like to join Spring 2017 semester can collect the admission package by today or Jan 12, 2017, from Testing Service dept. 3rd Floor Fauji Foundation- Main Campus-IBA.

These candidates are required to bring the copies of A Level results/HSC Mark sheet, IBA admit card, and IBA admission letter of Fall 2016.
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Introduction
IBA is the oldest business school outside North America. It was established in 1955 with initial technical support provided by the world famous Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania; later, the University of Southern California set up various facilities at the Institute and several prominent American professors were assigned to the IBA. The course contents, the curriculum, the pedagogical tools and the assessment and testing methods were developed under the guidance of reputed scholars from these two institutions. IBA has jealously guarded the high standards and academic traditions it had inherited from Wharton and USC while adapting and adjusting them with the passage of time. A large number of Pakistani faculty members received advanced degrees from Wharton and the University of Southern California.
Till 1994, the University of Karachi awarded degrees to the graduates. In that year the Sindh Assembly elevated the Institute's status to that of a degree-awarding institution. A bill is pending in the Assembly for conferring the status of a University to IBA. Inspite of a rapid increase in the number of business schools, the IBA has maintained its position as the premier institution of higher learning in the field of management and business administration.

The IBA initially offered MBA program only for day scholars. In 1957, an Evening Program was started to cater to the needs of the numerous working executives and managers who were interested in furthering their careers through part-time business studies. In 1982, a three-year BBA (Honors) Program was introduced which has now been upgraded into a four-year BBA program.


The Center for Computer Studies was established in 1983 with the collaboration of IBM, Pakistan. It initially offered a diploma in system analysis to overcome a shortage of software professionals in the country. It now offers BBA (MIS), MBA (MIS) and BS (Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Technology), MS (Computer Science, Software Engineering, Information Technology) and PhD programs. The PhD degree is being offered in the areas of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Operations Research, Artificial Intelligence, Cryptography, Numerical Analysis and Numerical Computing. In addition a PhD program in MIS/Computer Science and Engineering/ICT has been launched from August 2005.

The Center for Executive Education offers specialize executive programs for mid level public sector, non–profit sector and private sector executives, organizes customized courses for the corporate clients and holds short courses on emerging issues and themes for those engaged in business. A new Center for Entrepreneurial Development is being established and will become fully functional in 2010.

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Main Campus Address: University Road, Karachi-75270 Phone: +9221-111-422-422 , +9221-38104700 Fax: +9221-99261508 Email: info@iba.edu.pk, City Campus Address: Garden / Kayani Shaheed Road, Karachi-74400 Phone: +9221-38104701 Fax: +9221-38103008 Email: info@iba.edu.pk