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Chief Secretary Launched A New Cambridge IFA Case Study About Agrobanks Transformation Journey At World Islamic Economic Conference 2016

JAKARTA – Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, the Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia yesterday launched a new case study published by Cambridge IFA about Agrobanks transformation initiative. The launch was held in conjunction with the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF).

The case study entitled Charting A New Path To A Sustainable Growth is about Agrobanks bold journey to be a full-fledged Islamic Bank in 2015. The case study highlighted the importance of connecting the financial sector to the real economy in achieving a sustainable financial system. It also analyses Agrobanks developmental role in promoting agriculture as an engine of economic growth and Islamic finance as a viable and competitive component of the financial system.

According to Dato Wan Mohd Fadzmi Wan Othman, President/ CEO of Agrobank, Food is synonymous with agriculture sector and halal factor is essential to the Muslim community, therefore the conversion to a full-fledged Islamic bank(FFIB) enabled Agrobank to provide Islamic banking products and funding to complete the cycle of halal food production.

The FFIB process was grueling, involving major and significant change in mindset, processes and redoing all documentations. However, the team at Agrobank truly believes that agriculture, by nature, is a good fit with Islamic finance. So we persevered and worked hard towards realising the conversion. It adds the confidence of our customers and also investors on the halal status of a product as it is backed up by Shariah-compliant business transactions.

The case study also highlighted Agrobank as an example of cooperation between banking and finance and the real economy “ all in Shariah compliant way. It also helps to define the transformation of this government-owned entity to be a more commercial and sustainable organisation.

More than 80 guests witnessed the launching ceremony which was held during the WIEF satellite forum on the topic “Decentralising Growth, Empowering Future Business Forum: From Public Policy Perspective. The Forum was organised by the Razak School of Government.

Commenting on the case study, Tan Sri Dr. Ali said that Agrobank demonstrates how an organisation needs to restrategise and redefines its role in an ever changing economic landscape. “We find that many companies that build scale and transform for the benefit of their customers and shareholders are more successful,” said Tan Sri Ali.

“We hope that more organisations will benefit from this case study which is a fine example of business empowerment. Companies that initiate change will have far better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable,” he further added.

YB Dato Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry congratulated Agrobank on the launch of the case study. He said that Agrobank’s transition to Islamic banking is a truly strategic move as the shariah-compliant instruments will ensure that the outcome of agro-based projects are truly halal from farm to fork; covering the business transactions side of food production.

“Dynamic and innovative financing can be key drivers to grow the agriculture industry particularly financing that meets the unique needs and requirements of agro-based business.

Such financing will help MOA’s initiatives to improve the nation’s Self Sufficiency Level (SSL) and our ambition to export food products to global halal market, which is approximately worth USD$632 billion or 16 per cent of the global food industry. We believe that Agrobank has the potential to support that ambition through its innovative and shariah-compliant products and services,” Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek further added.

A PDF version of the case study is available for download from Agrobank’s website and Cambridge IFA’s website

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