The GIFA (Global Islamic Finance Awards), founded by Edbiz Consulting House in London, UK, that deals with the assessment methodology in the field of Islamic Finance and Leadership, organized a ceremonial ceremony in Sarajevo today to award the most prestigious awards in the field of leadership and Islamic finance to the most influential institutions and individuals from all over the world.

“Since the first award ceremony that was held in Muscat in Oman, GIFA has a reputation as the most prominent program of Islamic financial awards in the world. Over the past eight years, GIFA has been fully accepted by the global Islamic Finance Industry. GIFA winners come from all over the world, from the United States to Indonesia, from Great Britain to Kazakhstan, and this year also from Southeast Europe. The winners were selected from among all stakeholders, from industry representatives to regulators, Sharia scientists to service providers in the field of Islamic finance. GIFA is also the only Islamic finance awards program that recognizes the role and support of governments and politicians in the development of Islamic banking and finance. The selection of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, for hosting the eighth GIFA awards, is strategic, because we want to highlight the new role of BiH as the center of Islamic finance in the region of Southeast Europe. This is also the first time that we are organizing GIFA awards in Europe in order to bring Islamic financial institutions from the Western Hemisphere closer to the world’s leading financial industry by presenting them the best practices of Islamic banking and finance. I particularly want to thank Bosnia Bank International BBI as the official hosts of the GIFA 2018 award ceremony. I congratulate the GIFA 2018 laureates, people and institutions that have been prominent in leadership and innovations in Islamic finance. Their success best demonstrates a continuing aspiration to excellence in Islamic finance, “said Dr. Sofiza Azmi, Executive Director of Edbiz Corporation and Chair of the GIFA Awards Committee.

The Commission for the selection of the most prominent individuals in the world in the election was guided by successes in the relevant field of industry, as well as a significant contribution to the development of society. This year’s winner of one of the most important GIFA awards “GIFA Leadership Award 2018” is BiH Presidency Chairman Bakir Izetbegović. The award was handed over by Lisa Doughten, head of the United Nations Office for CERF Funds.

“I am honestly honored to receive the GIFA award, which is being held in Sarajevo at Sarajevo Halal Fair (SHF) in 2018. Islamic finance can play a significant role in building our infrastructure, primarily through the implementation of public-private partnerships, which provides excellent results in some countries such as Malaysia, Turkey, Jordan, Djibouti. We will have massive road constructions, which will connect all parts of BiH, construction of energy infrastructure, airports, roads, water supply, schools, hospitals. In this I see the possibility of financing through Islamic banking in projects that would be built on the principle of public-private partnership. The potential and opportunities of Islamic banking in PPP have also been recognized by the World Bank, which analyzes Islamic banking as tool for meeting the global UN Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030 and recommends Islamic Banking as one of the most suitable means of financing global sustainable development, in particular for financing infrastructure projects. A successful example of this kind of business in BiH and the region is represented by BBI Bank with its projects that help the economy through partnership. By stimulating investments and presenting projects through the Sarajevo Business Forum and by presenting products through SHF implemented by BBI, positive effects are  being achieved on the BiH economy,” Izetbegović pointed out.

The GIFA Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 was awarded to  Husein Kavazovic, Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The commission comprised of Islamic finance experts decided to give the award for “Upcoming Shari’a Scholar and Global Islamic Finance 2018 – Distinguished Sharia scholar in the field of global Islamic finance” to Prof. Šukrija Ramić, executive member of the BBI Bank Sharia Committee.

Among the winners of these prestigious international awards are leaders of financial institutions, state presidents, eminent professors and financial experts, as well as some of the leading people from state institutions from 16 countries. GIFA winners come from all over the world, from the United States to Indonesia, from Great Britain to Kazakhstan, and this year also winners from Southeast Europe from BiH.

The “GIFA Special Award 2018” for the promotion of Islamic banking in South East Europe, according to the rating of “Edbiz” consulting company from Great Britain, was given to Bosna Bank International (BBI), and the award was received by the chairman of the BBI Bank Board Amer Bukvić.

“It is an enormous honor and pleasure to receive the GIFA Award in the name of our BBI bank and it represents an incentive to continue to develop Islamic finances in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. BBI Bank and all employees of the bank see this award as a reward for the work so far, but also a motivation increase our commitment to achieve announced standards of excellence in Islamic finance,” Bukvic said.
“Edbiz” Corporation from London is a global financial think tank, an analytic house in the field of financial services that specializes in developing modern analytical tools for evaluating business data, assessing macroeconomic indicators and tracking trends in the market. They place emphasis on the market positioning and development of the brand of financial institutions in the global market and provide strategic advisory services to governments, financial institutions and multilateral organizations in the development of Islamic financial markets.