September 30, 2023

Bank membership tremendous benefit for Guyana, says Suriname Islamic Bank governor

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anwar_lall_mohamedBy Ray Chickrie From Caribbean News Now

PARAMARIBO, Suriname – Guyana, which recently joined the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), will definitely draw criticism from various elements but Suriname’s alternate governor to the IsDB, Ambassador Anwar Lall Mohamed, sees this as a “wise decision and that it will assist in advancing development and prosperity in Guyana”.

Mohamed, whose country is also a member of the Islamic Bank and who has extensive knowledge of Islamic banking and finance, said, “Be aware and be prepared for the anti- Islamic Bank campaign that can be expected from the established financing circles.”

Membership in the group guarantees Guyana concessional financing and technical advice. As well, the agriculture, aviation, infrastructure, education and healthcare sectors of Guyana will receive financial and technology boast, and knowledge to support the financial sector.

Next door in Suriname, the Islamic Bank and Malaysia recently began collaborating to spur the development and export of the agricultural sector there. This reverse linking project on rice is a tripartite cooperation (financing) between the Islamic Development Bank, the government of Malaysia and the government of Suriname. Mardi Holding Corporation has been hired to prepare, implement, and evaluate the project. Also, they will train farmers and other stakeholders.

Since Islamic banking commenced in Suriname, farmers and small businesses can now tap generous Islamic finance. Earlier this year, Trust Bank of Suriname signed an advisory services agreement with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group to process and support its conversion into full Shariah-compliant operations.

Suriname has received US$102.8 million in financing for 12 projects since 1997. And some ambitious plans are ahead, one of which will be announced in Jakarta in May. In 2013, Suriname and the IsDB agreed on a new interim member country partnership strategy, which translated into Suriname recently receiving additional loans totaling US$75.8 million for two projects in the health and education section. Suriname is now working on a broader partnership with the bank.

Guyana will benefit from the various organs of the Islamic Bank: the Islamic Centre for the Development of trade (ICDT), based in Casablanca, is the organization that has the responsibility to promote and support the increase of trade among Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries, Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) was founded in 1981 to conduct research and providing training for IsDB member countries with the aim to further economic development and cooperation amongst them, and the ICD was founded in 1999 to develop the private sector in IsDB member countries. Guyana will be able to tap all these resources and support.

Mohammed expects that there will now be competition between the conventional banking systems. In his opinion, “Islamic banking will contribute to better services for customers. Especially the production sector will benefit the most from the Islamic finance system.”

He added that Islamic banking is a “risk and profit based banking system”.

The word “Islamic” should not alarm people; it merely means the application of the “Shariah Law in Islamic finance that guarantees integrity, transparency and ethics in Islamic banking. Regardless of your respective faith, everyone from any religion can utilize the benefits of Islamic banking,” the ambassador remarked.

He stressed that the public should note that “one does not have to become a Muslim to borrow money according to the Islamic banking system. Islamic banking is for each and everyone, regardless of faith, race, social ranking, cultural background or political colour.”

Mohamed expressed excitement that now two countries in the Western Hemisphere are members of the OIC and shareholders of the IsDB.

“Now we can share our knowledge and experiences with each other for the benefit of our brotherly, friendly and cross border nations,” Mohamed said.

IMAGE: Ambassador Anwar Lall Mohamed

For more on this story go to:,-says-Suriname-Islamic-Bank-governor-29953.html

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