The Islamic Development Bank Group hopes for more collaborative opportunities with the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), as part of the group's ambition to grow the Islamic financial service industry.

"In the Islamic financial services industry, much more needs to be done to enable it to be sustainable and to allow it to be resilient, stable and inclusive," said IDB president Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al Madani earlier today.

He was the keynote speaker for the 10th IFSB Summit in Kuala Lumpur.

During his keynote address, Ahmad Mohamed suggested four key areas that IFSB can put its attention on, these include -- Creation of a conducive enabling environment; Adoption of IFSB and AAOIFI standards by all stakeholders; Shortage of qualified manpower; and Financial inclusion through Islamic microfinance, supported by Zakat and Awqaf.

"IDB is receiving a large number of queries for assistance in the field of Islamic finance from its member and non-member countries.

"In this context, it is proposed that IFSB steps forward to assist the Bank and its constituency by jointly providing technical assistance to support the Islamic financial services industry," he explained.

He also added that both IDB and IFSB should study ways for creating globally acceptable references for the Islamic financial service industry.

"This could include striving for the concept of a globally accepted Shariah committee or body, which would be able to assist all Islamic financial institutions and bring them in line with a uniform standard.

"This is very important as it gives a much needed structure to the industry, thus enabling it to be more stable and allowing it to grow further."

Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdulla Saoud Al-Thani, chairman of IFSB 2013, highlighted some of the challenges that lie ahead in the Islamic financial service industry.

"Some of these challenges also present great opportunities," said Sheikh Abdulla, who is also the Governor of Qatar Central Bank.

Among the challenges include the under-penetrated Takaful industry.

"The expansion of Takaful business is progressing slowly but Takaful comprises only 1 per cent of the global insurance market even though Muslims make up about 20 per cent of the world’s population," he said.