Islamic banking has made its entry in Suriname with the approval of the Central Bank of Suriname (CBvS) for Islamic products and services in the banking sector.
The official opening of Trustbank Amanah, the first Islamic Bank in Suriname and the region, took place on 7 December 2017 in the presence of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) representatives. To commemorate this event, Nida Raza the Director of Advisory at ICD and Mohammed Mannai the Programme Manager of Islamic Financial Institutions, attended the opening ceremony.
After two years of preparation, Trustbank Amanah is ready to serve Surinamese society in Islamic financing. With this, the organisation concludes a period of 28 years of service to the community as a secondary bank institution.
Trustbank Amanah builds on the same foundation laid by the financial institution for the development of small business, and aims to develop, support and encourage SMEs in accordance with Islamic finance principles.
The vision of Trustbank Amanah is sustainable business growth through ethical banking. The goal is to ensure sustainable economic growth and, in time, serve the financial needs of regional markets. By offering this alternative way of banking, Trustbank Amanah hopes to open doors for sustainable growth and distribution of prosperity, with which the economic stability of Suriname can be realised.
"Trustbank Amanah is committed to developing the private sector and strengthening public-private partnerships", said Maureen Badjoeri Chief Executive Officer of Trustbank Amanah.
The spin-off effect is that the country’s manufacturing sector will be encouraged to be more competitive and export-oriented.
Successful and growing companies create employment, purchasing power gains and ultimately increased economic growth; a very ambitious task, but not impossible, according to Badjoeri.
To this end, Trustbank Amanah has commissioned ICD as a partner, owing to its knowledge and experience in this field and the fact that it has already earned its good reputation in other parts of the world. Islamic finance is gaining traction in both developing and developed countries, putting Suriname on a par with countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia where Islamic finance has made its fair share of contribution in aiding growth and development.
Nida Raza, the ICD Advisory Director, conveyed the message of the CEO of ICD by saying that "Islamic finance has expanded steadily in traditional markets in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). South America, however, represents a new market. Suriname will become the financial hub for Islamic Finance for the region. Trustbank Amanah will play a prominent role in this.” Raza added that she believes in the great potential of Trustbank Amanah to contribute to the economic development and well-being of Suriname through efficient and Shari'ah compliant banking.
Minister of Finance Gillmore Hoefdraad and the president of the Central Bank of Suriname Glenn Gersie characterises this achievement as a historic moment in the financial development of Suriname.
After the official launch of Trustbank Amanah, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism and the Association for Surinamese Business (VSB), which includes the intention to work together to stimulate, support and develop local SMEs.
Trustbank Amanah will be at the service of anyone who requires financial services and offers savings, investment and credit opportunities in the initial phase. As the business expands, new banking products and services will be offered.
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