The New York Times has this article on the rise of Islamic finance in Southeast Asia and the efforts by Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia to become regional hubs for both service and training. Worth an estimated US$1 trillion worldwide, the sector is growing so fast that its biggest problem seems to be a lack of skilled professionals to accommodate demand.

Educational institutions are rushing to add Islamic finance components to their MBA and other courses. As expected, Malaysia has led the field so far and the private Universiti Tun Abdul Razak in Kuala Lumpur will offer an MBA in Global Islamic finance to students starting this year. Malaysia’s International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, started by the central bank in 2006, are consulting with an increasing number of institutions around the world about starting programs as they realize the groundswell (both in influence and economic potential). The Centre also offers its own courses and upper level degrees.

Recognizing that Islamic investment and banking principles are becoming permanent feature on the world financial stage, universities outside Southeast Asia’s Muslim majority countries are joining in. La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia began a Master’s in Islamic Banking and Finance this year along with Islamic electives in its traditional MBA, attracting students from around the Asian region. Hong Kong University of Science & Technology’s Business School also offers electives.

source & article: New York Times