Working Group of the International Conference Islamic Finance: Prospects for Development in Russia Resolution and Advice

Rushan Abbyasov, head of International Relations Department, Russia Muftis Council
Madina Kalimullina, head of department for economic programs, Russia Muftis Council
Yegor Batanov, senior lawyer, Pepelyaev, Goltsblat and Partners
Aleksei Kuznetsov, partner, Ernst & Young
Alexander Kazakov, director of department for structured and syndicated crediting, Gazprombank
Rustam Vakhitov, senior manager of international taxation group, Pepelyaev, Goltsblat and Partners
Renat Bekkin, L.L.M., leading expert of Mardjani Fund
Evgeny Pankratov, attorney, Pepelyaev, Goltsblat and Partners

Jointly organized by the Russian Muftis Council and The Moscow Times, with the partnership of the Russian-Arab Business Council and the financial support of VTB-Capital, Pepelyaev, Goltsblat and Partners, Norton Rose and Goltsblat BLP, the International Conference “Islamic Finance: Prospects for Development in Russia” took place in Moscow on Dec. 10, 2009, at the Marriott Aurora Hotel. State authorities, academicians, religious, public organizations and commercial companies from Russia and abroad participated in the conference.

There was great interest toward the topic of the conference on the part of Russian and foreign business circles and academicians, and the particular relevance of the topic in the context of the world financial crisis and the demands of society for spiritual perfection are the reasons for the further steps that are outlined below. Other positive indicators are that the study on the possibility of implementing Islamic financial instruments in Russia by the working group on alternative (Islamic) financial institutions and products had very positive results. It was decided that the constraining factor in the development of the cooperation of businesses and increase of investments from the counties of the Islamic world is the lack of qualified specialists to work with the Islamic financial instruments.

As a result of the two-day discussion in the framework of seven plenary sessions, the participants of the conference have agreed to the following:

1. The Islamic economic principles are first of all aimed at creating a just and socially oriented economic and financial system. The services of Islamic financial institutions are aimed at everybody regardless of their religious views.

2. It is worth thoroughly studying and implementing Islamic economic principles in Russia, including, in particular, such spheres as Islamic banking and Islamic insurance, and issues of social orientation of Islamic banking.

3. Complex, gradual and balanced development of the Islamic finance principles is needed, including educational, research and enlightenment programmes, with mass media involvement.

4. Creation of a professional association of specialists in the sphere of Islamic finance and insurance would contribute to further effective study and implementation of Islamic financial institutions and products.

5. Creation of an Association of experts in the sphere of Islamic finance would help achieve Points 2-4.

6. To take into consideration the opinion of the representatives of the Association of regional banks of Russia, consulting and law companies and banks who spoke at the conference, namely that the current Russian legislation does not pose fundamental impediments to the successful implementation of Islamic financial instruments.

7. To consider the present conference to be another stage of constructive work in the sphere of realization of Islamic financial principles in Russia, and to consider the conference to be a regular platform for development, cooperation and coordination of activities with the financial institutions of the Muslim countries.

8. To send a copy of the resolution to the Islamic Development Bank, Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, INCEIF (the global university in Islamic Finance), Association of Russian banks, Association of regional banks of Russia, National stock association and other professional associations.

We would also like to express gratitude to everybody who took part in the present conference, as well as to the organizers of the conference.