Wief Powertalk: Big Opportunity To Develop Blue Sukuk In Asia

There is a big opportunity to develop more blue sukuk in Asia to support the growth of the blue economy, said United Nations Global Compact Network Malaysia and Brunei chairperson Ramesh Kana.

He said creating blue sukuk, which includes finance initiatives that conserve ocean resources and facilitate sustainable development in coastal regions, will not only help to ensure protection and sustainable use of oceans through investment in the blue economy but also help to build ocean resilience.

“The opportunity for blue sukuk is the same as green sukuk, where it is growing in terms of strength and volume.

“However, it suffers from a lack of definition and this area continues to evolve.

“The rule and the framework around green sukuk are increasingly clear and it attracts capitals,” he said during the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Powertalk 2021, entitled “Diving into the deep blue: Possibilities for Islamic Fintech”, today.

Ramesh said the challenge for creating blue sukuk is a lack of research and development on technical assistance needed to develop the instrument.

“The first bond was facilitated by the World Bank and other development banks are currently working on similar bond structures, so if we talk about blue sukuk, we need to invest in this area,” he said.

He said there is also a need for strong Islamic financial institutions such as the Islamic Development Bank to step up and invest in the creation of Shariah-compliant financial instruments.

On another note, Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust chief executive officer Angelique Pouponneau said the blue economy helps to ensure protection and sustainable use of oceans which can support United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“We want to ensure the generation of wealth and the alleviation of poverty and at the same time, ensure the ecosystem is healthy and sustainably managed,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sultanate of Oman, Capital Market Authority advisor Kemal Rizadi Arbi said fishery is the key focus area of the blue economy in the country and Oman is looking to further enhance the blue sukuk sector.

“Oman is the second-largest country in the Gulf Cooperation Council and we are looking for alternative financing as enablers for sustainable development.

“This is in line with Oman’s vision 2040 to promote sustainable development and financial inclusion,” he said.