Islamic Finance in a European Union Jurisdiction
This report encapsulates discussions at five workshops organized by The Malta Institute of Management on the subject of Islamic finance.
The report analyzes Islamic finance in Europe and compares it to conventional finance. It also highlights the strategic position of Malta as a center for Islamic finance in the European-Mediterranean area. Workshop discussions reveal that:
- Various EU and other jurisdictions have different legislative and tax issues that facilitate Islamic finance;
- Only a handful of EU countries are currently active in Islamic finance;
- U.K. is at the forefront of the Islamic finance activity, followed by France and Luxembourg;
- Around 20 million people in the EU identify themselves as Muslims;
- By 2020, Muslims will account for one fifth of the entire population;
- Malta will be able to penetrate the Islamic community in Italy, which has approximately 1.5 million Muslims.
The report states that Islamic finance was already present in the Mediterranean region in the past. In order to open themselves to Islamic finance, most European countries need to look back at their origins.