IDB, WB eye $1.9 trillion Islamic finance market

Updated 23 January 2018
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IDB, WB eye $1.9 trillion Islamic finance market

RIYADH: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank are to use the rapidly growing Islamic finance market for infrastructure development projects through public-private partnerships (PPP).
The IDB recently organized a forum in Washington in partnership with the World Bank on this subject, IDB spokesperson Dr. Abdul-Hakim Elwaer told Arab News on Sunday.
IDB Vice President Dr. Mansur Muhtar represented IDB President Dr. Bandar Hajjar during the forum attended by IDB member countries.
“The IDB, in partnership with the World Bank, will work to unlock the potential of the $1.9 trillion Islamic finance market to mobilize resources for infrastructure development projects using public-private partnership (PPP),” Muhtar told the forum.
The IDB vice president made the statement based on a report, “Mobilizing Islamic Finance for Infrastructure-Public Private Partnership,” which was funded by the Jeddah-based development bank.
The World Bank suggested that the Islamic financial market has reached $1.9 trillion over the past six decades.
Elwaer said the aim of the forum was to create awareness about the potential for infrastructure development through PPP, especially in developing countries.
“This falls in line with the new development orientations of IDB member countries including Saudi Arabia, whose ambitious 2030 plan is targeting to increase the private sector’s contribution to the GDP (gross domestic product) from 40 to 65 percent,” he said.
He said the Kingdom aims to achieve this through increasing the use of PPPs and through the privatization of government entities.
Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank senior vice president on sustainable development goals, said: “One of the advantages that the IDB has in using Islamic finance is localization.
“The IDB has worked in many villages in its areas of operation, and has always demonstrated how localization helps in benefiting from Islamic finance.”


Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press briefing. (SPA file photo)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Arab coalition working to protect region’s security, says spokesman

  • Houthis want to disturb peace, says coalition spokesman
  • Stockholm peace agreement under strain

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government is committed to protecting regional and global security, a spokesman said Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki was asked at a press briefing about Houthi militias threatening to target the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“This is their way to disturb peace,” Al-Maliki replied. “Previously the Houthis targeted Riyadh with a ballistic missile, violating all international laws by attacking a city that has more than 8 million civilians. We take all precautions to protect civilians and vital areas. The coalition works to protect regional and international security.”

Al-Maliki said Houthis had targeted Saudi border towns several times, the most recent incident taking place in Abha last Friday.

But the Saudi Royal Air Defense Force had shot down a drone that was targeting civilians, he added.

He said four Saudi nationals and an Indian expatriate were injured in the attack because of falling debris.

The drone wreckage showed the characteristics and specifications of Iranian manufacturing, he said, which proved Iran was continuing to smuggle arms to the militias.

He warned the Houthis to refrain from targeting civilians because the coalition, in line with international humanitarian law, had every right to counter such threats.

He said the coalition was making efforts to neutralize ballistic missiles and dismantle their capabilities, as the coalition’s joint command would not allow the militia to possess weapons that threatened civilian lives and peace.

Al-Maliki reiterated that the Houthis were targeting Yemeni civilians and continued to violate international laws. 

He also urged Yemenis to try their best to prevent children from being captured by Houthis, who were using them as human shields and child soldiers.

His comments came as the UN tried to salvage a peace deal that was seen as crucial for ending the country’s four-year war.

The Stockholm Agreement was signed by the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives last December.

The main points of the agreement were a prisoner exchange, steps toward a cease-fire in the city of Taiz, and a cease-fire agreement in the city of Hodeidah and its port, as well as ports in Salif and Ras Issa.

Militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

Earlier this month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump’s administration opposed curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.