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Senegal seeks Bahrain help in Islamic finance.

MANAMA: The government of Senegal is looking to Bahrain to help develop its Islamic finance industry. The countries leaders are convinced that as it develops as a financial centre it could provide a gateway for Bahrain institutions to tap into the entire sub-Saharan Africa region.

Senegal-based SYM International Finance Corporation, in partnership with the government of Senegal, yesterday took part in a forum at Gulf Hotel as part of its efforts to assist the Senegal government to promote the Senegal Financial Services Centre and attract more private investments.

Leading bankers from the country gave a comprehensive presentation on the centre to more than 40 financial services practitioners, with emphasis on its structure, actors, general regulatory framework, business activities and main products.

The forum was co-ordinated by the Bahrain government, through the Foreign Ministry, with the assistance of the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Bahrain Association of Banks was in charge of technical and logistical organisation of the event.

The Senegal government, through the ministries of Economy and Finance, Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, was fully involved in the organisation of the event.

It collaborated with SYM International Finance Corporation to make the event a great success.

The Senegal Embassy played a crucial role in the preparation of the event and co-ordinated on behalf of the Senegal side diplomatic, technical and logistical organisation of the event.

"Bahrain is a hub for both Islamic and conventional finance and we want to build ties with its financial sector and learn from its experience," said SYM International Finance Corporation chief executive officer Dr Birahim Seck.

"I have worked extensively in the US and Europe and I know that the

outside world knows what Bahrain means to the Islamic finance industry.

"We want to learn from this and attract investment to Senegal.

"Senegal has become a hub for financial services in West Africa. Most of the international companies and financial institutions operating in the West Africa region are using Senegal as their regional headquarters.

"In this regard, banks in Bahrain have an unprecedented opportunity, given the financial, economic and political stability of Senegal, and through excellent diplomatic relations between Senegal and Bahrain, to use Senegal as a gateway not only for West Africa but also for the entire sub-Saharan Africa region," he added.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jun 29, 2010
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