Financing Cambodia’s Muslims

Don Weinland

Islamic finance could help to boost trade between Cambodia and the Middle East, as well as attract investment from Muslim-majority countries, experts said on Saturday.

Knowledge of Islamic finance and banking, which bars interest lending and discourages unfair trade advantages, is almost nonexistent among Cambodia’s Muslims, which comprise about 2 per cent of the country’s population.

But demand for halal business practices is increasing in Malaysia and Middle Eastern countries, according to insiders.

With more education on Islamic law, domestic Muslims could dominate trade with those countries and attract investment from Islamic banks in the region, experts and Muslim business owners said.

“Most investors in the Middle East are certainly looking for Islamic-compliant business in countries that aren’t majority Muslim,” Ashraf Bin Md Hashim, head of consultancy at the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance, said on Saturday on the sidelines of Cambodia’s first conference on halal finance.

“This could open an Islamic banking window here.”

Progress on Islamic finance in Malaysia has been slow, Ashraf Bin Md Hashim said.

read more at : http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012031254976/Business/financing-cambodias-muslims.html/

source : phnompenhpost

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