IOFS conducts Workshop on "Sukuk for Investments in Agriculture" in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan

IOFS conducts Workshop on
22 June 2023

On 22 June 2023, the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) launched the "Sukuk for Investments in Agriculture" workshop in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The workshop featured esteemed speakers and experts that delved into various aspects of Sukuk and its relevance to the agricultural sector.

The opening speech was delivered by the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, HE Mr. Yerbol Karashukeev, and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, HE Mr. Kanat Tumysh, followed by the welcoming remarks of the Director General of IOFS, HE Prof. Yerlan Baidaulet. HE Mr.Kanat Tumysh welcomed the participants by noting the relevance and importance of raising awareness on Sukuk for Investments in Agriculture,

“ The main topic of the Conference is very significant to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as we oversee investments in Kazakhstan, and considering that Kazakhstan is the Central Asian Hub for Islamic finance, the importance of establishing export-oriented food supply chains and the increasing role of the Astana International Finance Center in this regard is imperative, we have huge prospects for the development and facilitation of the Sukuk Market.” The first session then commenced with an elaboration on "What is Sukuk?". In essence, Sukuk was defined as a generic sharia compliant financial instrument with fractional ownership of an underlying asset at all material times. Mr. Hafiz Advocate Aboo Baker Joosab Noor Mahomed, Founder Director of Albaraka Bank South Africa, continued by providing insights into the Sharia aspects of Sukuk issuances.

Religion, milla, as al- Farabi (the founder of philosophy within the Islamic world) views it, has its place. According to him, its ideological and legal constitution is designed to direct citizens towards human perfection and thus to contribute simultaneously to the fulfilment of economic, political and social goals for the attainment of individual happiness and the well-being of society. The subject of Sukuk as a financial instrument is one of many in Islamic banking and finance that relates to the bonding of a community in the pursuit of a common purpose for the welfare of each and every member of the community.”

Additionally, Mr. Aidar Zhanturin, Senior Manager of the Business Relations Department, discussed Sukuk-related activities of the Astana International Finance Center (AIFC). 

Online speeches by Mr. Nicola Minervini, Associate at Akin Gump, and Mr. Conor Clifford Murphy, MD of Hermon Consulting, introduced legal aspects of the matter and the Global Sukuk market.

The second session of the Workshop focused on the Sukuk market within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Geography. Dr. Hasan Demirhan, Former Vice President of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, interpreted the aspect of socioeconomic development. Dr. Sohail Zubairi, an Islamic Finance Specialist, and Mr. Tarik Malaika, Lead Principle Sukuk, provided insights into UAE local currency Sukuk and ICD Sukuk in KZT, respectively. Lastly, H.E. Prof. Yerlan Baidaulet elaborated on Agriculture Sukuk for IOFS and Kazakh entities, leading to the closing session with a Q & A.To conclude, the speakers and participants of the Workshop agreed that Sukuk holds the potential to become one of the most powerful tools for investment and financing. By embracing Sukuk, Kazakhstan and other OIC Member States will be able to reduce dependence on foreign debt, enhance liquidity in domestic capital markets, and attract foreign investments in the real economy. The success of Sukuk funds in the Middle East, South East and the United Kingdom demonstrates their effectiveness in various public and private sector operations. Integrating Sukuk into the agricultural sector also aligns with Kazakhstan's principles of fairness, justice, and sustainable growth, offering significant economic opportunities and social benefits.