For the second year the Arab Centre for Management Development of MIRBIS conducts short-term training course “Islamic Finance”. About the objectives and programs of the Center, as well as other issues Alexander Babaev, Executive Director of the Centre in an interview to MuslimEco


-Good afternoon, you are the CEO of Arabic management development center of MIRBIS school. Please tell us about the objectives and activities of your center.

Actually, on May 28, 2008 at the Institute the Arab Centre for Management Development was inaugurated. Was fundamental principle of its creation was the desire to promote the development of Russian-Arab cooperation in the framework of business education. The reason for the center opening was interest from the representatives of Russian business community, students, teachers MIRBIS, listeners of MBA in deeper understanding of culture, economy and history of the Arabic region, which is located on the two continents: in Africa and in Eurasia.

– What perspectives do you see in the development of Islamic financial and economic model in Russia and in the whole world?

In my opinion the Islamic financial industry has already shown its potential, and if the country, a region of the world, wants to stay on top, Islamic financing mechanisms must be used in a large or lesser degree. Russia is in a very interesting situation, Islamic finance is already there, because there is an interest among a wide range of people who, including those interested in studying Islamic finance, have become participants of the training courses. Another example might be the results of the social survey that was conducted last year by the Economic programs office of Russian Muftis Council. Secondly it is worth mentioning the events, which are held by Russian Muftis Council, Russian Association of experts in Islamic financing. It remains for the legislative and regulatory authorities to be involved in the process.

– What principles have guided you to create the center?

The main reason which MIRBIS institute sees in establishment of such regional centers, is that Russian business operates in an international environment where there is not only different system of relationship between market players, but as well different influence of culture and religion on economic processes. And of course, lack of understanding, knowledge about other forms of financial-economic activity can negatively affect the company’s activities and business development. Thus, the more we succeed in our educational activities to involve the regional aspects of international business, the more universal will be the opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between representatives of the business community.

– In February 2009 MIRBIS Institute has signed an agreement with the International Relations Department of Russian Muftis Council. How do you assess your partnership?

Muftis Council of Russia is the authoritative organization of Russian Muslims. By signing a cooperation agreement, we have expanded our educational and partner relationship, started to hold roundtables, and cooperate actively on the course “Islamic finance”, including cultural and educational events. Knowledge and experience of RMC staff, which they are willing to share in the international events, educational projects – all these are very important in the activities of MIRBIS Arabic Center. In February 2011 our cooperation will celebrate two years, and I’m confident we have a lot of opportunities to cooperate in future.

– What can you say about the course “Islamic finance” in MIRBIS?

In my opinion, the main problem, which the organizers of the course have solved – is its universality, in the sense that the academic staff has been selected so that the listeners can learn how to look at the model of Islamic finance from academic and practical perspectives. The graduates of the course possess objective understanding of the work mechanisms, the current state of Islamic finance industry in the world, the examples of implementation in different regions and development prospects in Russia. Part of our teachers are active members of the Russian association of experts on Islamic financing (RAIEF). The certificate of completion of the course “Islamic finance” provides an opportunity to join the Association.

– What is included in the syllabus?

Shareware the program can be divided into four blocks: the legal framework of Islamic finance, the Islamic finance operations, the Islamic finance in different countries around the world, Islamic finance in Russia, the experience of the CIS, prospects of development. The substantial part is constructed so that the movement goes from simple to complex, and, please note, each group of students to complete the program participate in the discussion of the course, expressing their wishes, it’s all accounted for listeners of the future intake. Another important feature is the current control of knowledge over passed material on the site muslimeco.ru, as well as protection of the outcome of the project to potential investors, students of the program.

– I would like you to put forward your suggestions for the future trainees.

If you want to know what Islamic financial industry is and what is now happening in Russia in this area, if you have the desire to get involved in the development of Islamic finance in this country, then you have to join at our training course – “Islamic finance” in MIRBIS.
Thank you for the interview.

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