CEF and METAC organized jointly a regional workshop on “Supervisory Review and Assessment Process of Institutions offering Islamic Financial Services (IIFS)” in Kuwait during December 18-21, 2017, which was attended by 27 deputy directors and senior bank supervisors from 10 Arab League countries (Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and West Bank and Gaza).
The workshop discussed a number of thematic topics related to establishing an effective Islamic banking supervisory regime, including (i) Recent Developments of Islamic Banking; (ii) Risk- Based Supervision Framework; (iii) Activities and Inherent Risks in IIFS; (iv) Capital Adequacy Standard and Determination of Alpha in the Calculation of Capital Adequacy Ratio; (v) Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP); (vi) Liquidity Management and Measurement; (vii) Stress Testing as a Supervisory Tool; (viii) Assessing Governance Oversight; and (ix) Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP) Approach.
Participants acquired practical methods on identifying and measuring risks in IIFS. They shared experiences on how IIFS in their jurisdictions are supervised, and were provided with case studies on the identification of key risks in IIFS and measuring capital adequacy ratio under stressed situations.
Public Financial Management
Improving cash management and optimizing banking arrangements are high priorities reforms to ensure the effective implementation of public policies and the timely payment of public expenditure. Experience in the Middle East and North Africa region shows that the development of a Treasury Single Account is a prerequisite for modernizing cash management and improving oversight over government’s cash resources.
In this context, a regional workshop on “Cash Management and Treasury Single Account” was organized by the Middle East Center for Economics and Finance (CEF) and METAC in Kuwait City during November 26-29, 2017. It gathered 25 senior managers and technical staff of ministries of finance and central banks from 12 METAC member countries to share ideas and experiences in addressing weaknesses in cash planning and forecasting, developing active cash management, strengthening banking arrangements, and using financial markets to finance short-term funding needs. Building on a set of analytical work, best practices, and templates, the workshop provided participants with practical tools to develop operational cash plans and forecasts.
METAC held a regional workshop on TADAT in Amman, Jordan during September 11-13, 2017. Twenty senior representatives of tax authorities and ministries of finance from 10 countries attended the workshop. The countries represented were: Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan, West Bank and Gaza (all METAC members), and Oman.
Given the comprehensive nature of TADAT, and the volume of material to be covered, a series of three workshops have been planned. This workshop was the second in the series. It started with an awareness session on the TADAT process, and was followed by detailed discussions on the internationally recognized good practices espoused in the TADAT methodology related to the effective risk management, both for compliance and institutional risks. Examples of the practical application of these good practices helped to demonstrate how they add to better tax administration.
METAC will be providing future TA support for TADAT assessments throughout the region, in partnership with other development partners, where appropriate. So far, METAC has contributed to the TADAT assessment and implementation of its recommendations in Egypt and Jordan. Following the workshop and a subsequent FAD-METAC mission on future TA needs, Morocco also requested a TADAT assessment, which would be undertaken jointly by FAD and METAC.
METAC held a workshop on “Price Index Compilation Issues” in Amman, Jordan during November 6-9, 2017. Twenty-five officials from the national statistical offices of 13 countries in the Middle East and North Africa attended the workshop. The represented countries comprise: Afghanistan, Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Sudan, Tunisia, and West Bank and Gaza.
The workshop addressed specific price statistics compilation issues and challenges of participating countries. It discussed international standards and good practices related to the compilation and dissemination of price indexes, and included practical exercises. The interactive nature of the workshop facilitated extensive discussions among participants, who, in wrap-up session, were given the opportunity to identify potential areas for future METAC technical assistance in their countries.