Islamic funds for PH infra projects sought
The Apec Business Advisory Council (Abac) Philippines plans to help establish bilateral arrangements between the Philippines and countries like Malaysia on the use of Islamic funds for local infrastructure projects.
“Adequate financing is the lifeblood of infrastructure development in the region. I see the potential of Islamic investments in unlocking infrastructure development hurdles, especially in Mindanao,” said Abac member Joanne de Asis.
According to the International Monetary Fund, islamic finance refers to financial services that adhere to Islamic law, or Sharia.
Among other rules, it does not permit receipt and payment of interest.
Asked which infrastructure projects would be involved, Tomas Alcantara, Abac Philippines chair, in an e-mail said the group was still meeting with counterparts in other countries.
“We need to understand first how to tap into the Islamic funds given that we don’t have a mature Islamic financial system,” he said.
Abac said it added infrastructure to its priority program areas, along with digital innovation and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
Also, Abac Philippines said it was organizing a public-private task force which will lead in formulating the strategic roadmap for digital innovation.
The envisioned roadmap will be linked to government policies, educational system and training programs.
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