The City plays a crucial role in underpinning the wider economy through job creation, investment, trade and exports. That is why I am writing this column in the Gulf, where I have been joined by a leading business delegation from a range of sectors, all looking to take advantage of an array of partnership opportunities.
The Gulf holds a particular place in my affections, since I spent some of my career in
And while the region's economies have changed and developed, the welcome has been as special as ever.
When it comes to Islamic finance, we are already moving ahead: nearly 30 higher education and professional institutions offer courses and qualifications in Islamic finance, which will be crucial in expanding the role of the sector in the
Further, Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing areas in the global financial services market, playing an essential role in helping individuals and institutions engage with the financial system in a way consistent with ethical sharia principles. Activity in the sector has risen by around 150 per cent since 2007. It is also increasingly an element in major infrastructure projects in the
But we must not rest on our laurels;
The City has always been at the forefront of new market developments and Islamic finance can play a major role in this story in the future. As the chancellor highlighted, we need to export our way to recovery and the City can help to achieve this.
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