KARACHI: The Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Dr Reza Baqir, has been appointed as the Chairman of the General Assembly of Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) for the year 2022. The IFSB General Assembly is an apex representative body with 87 members, including 81 regulatory and supervisory authorities, 10 international intergovernmental organizations, and 96 market players, including financial institutions, professional firms, industry associations, and stock exchanges operating in 57 jurisdictions. According to a statement issued here on Friday, Dr. Baqir’s appointment was approved by the IFSB General Assembly in its 19th meeting held on June 09- 2021. Dr. Reza Baqir is currently serving as the Deputy Chairman of the Council of IFSB, a senior executive and policy-making body comprising heads of the regulatory and supervisory authorities on Islamic finance. On the appointment as Chairman for the 20th General Assembly, Governor SBP expressed his gratitude to IFSB Council and General Assembly members for their expression of confidence in him to steer this august forum and resolved that IFSB would continue to serve as one of the leading standard-setting bodies in Islamic finance at the global level. Adding further, he said that standards developed by IFSB would help to augment the regulatory and prudential frameworks for Islamic finance globally. The IFSB, established in 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is an international standard-setting organization that promotes and enhances the soundness and stability of the global Islamic financial services industry by issuing prudential standards and guiding principles for the industry. To strengthen the regulatory and supervisory infrastructure for the Islamic banking industry, the State Bank of Pakistan has over the years adopted various IFSB prudential standards and guidelines after necessary customization in light of the prevailing local legal and regulatory environment. There are currently 5 full-fledged Islamic banks in Pakistan and 17 conventional banks operating with standalone Islamic banking branches offering a wide array of Shariah-compliant financial solutions. As of March 31, 2020, the market share of the Islamic banking industry assets and deposits in the overall banking sector stood at 17% and 18.7%, respectively, and the branch network of Islamic banking institutions comprises over 3,456 branches and 1,638 windows. The SBP, in its 3rd five years strategic plan 2020-25, has set a target of 30% market share of Islamic banking in the overall banking industry with special emphasis on increasing financing to agriculture and SME sectors. SBP has also received several global accolades in promoting Islamic banking in the country.