The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has appointed Ruslena Ramli as Director of FinTech and Islamic Digital Economy (FIDE) to drive forward the corporation’s ‘Reinvent’ mission.
In her new role, Ruslena is tasked to lead the FIDE team at MDEC to create differentiation for Malaysia via financial inclusion and Islamic Finance. Malaysia continues to forge the way ahead in Islamic economy and finance, leading the way for the eighth consecutive year based on the ranking by the Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI).
Ruslena Ramli began her career as an investment banker with SIME Merchant Bank in 1997. She then expanded her career with RAM Rating Services Berhad’s (RAM) in 1999, before joining the Islamic banking sphere in 2004. Her experiences include investment, commercial and retail banking, having structured and advised on sukuk / bond issues, syndicated facilities and bridging transactions, including securing Bank Negara Malaysia’s approval for the establishment of Islamic banking products.
“Malaysia ranks first in the Global Islamic FinTech (GIFT) Index and had an estimated Islamic Fintech market size in 2020 of US$3 billion, expected to grow by 23 percent annually to reach US$8.5 billion by 2025 (and) on top of the recently-signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement which created the world’s largest trading bloc, Malaysia stands to capture 30 per cent of the world population,” explained Chairman of MDEC, Datuk Wira Dr Hj. Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff. “Ruslena will be a crucial appointment as we assert our global leadership position in the areas of Islamic Digital Economy and FinTech (and) I am confident she will be an astute addition to MDEC as we strive towards propagating a society integrated with technology, anchored by inclusivity and equitability in line with Malaysia 5.0.”
According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report (GIER) 2019/20, Muslims are expected to spend US$2.4 trillion by 2024, up from US$2.2 trillion in 2018. GIEI also revealed that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for ethical products while a report from Thomson Reuters projected Shariah-compliant assets worldwide will reach US$3.8 trillion by 2022.
Ruslena’s expertise in Shariah-compliant structures is acquired through her previous role as an Islamic banker as well as a trainer for the Securities Industry Development Corporation. Prior to joining MDEC, Ruslena held the position of Head of Islamic Finance in RAM where she played a key role in expanding RAM’s franchise in Islamic finance and was successful in securing several research grants that promoted RAM’s expertise and insights in credit rating and sukuk transactions.
“I welcome Ruslena into team MDEC and she represents another important appointment, reflecting our efforts and resolve to maintain our leadership position in the global Islamic economy and finance,” said CEO of MDEC, Surina Shukri. “Her deep experience will further complement and enhance our capabilities as we seek to address the fast-evolving needs of this sector.”
Ruslena holds a BA (Honours) in Accounting and Finance from Middlesex University of London and a Master’s Degree in Islamic Finance from International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF).
“MDEC has played a hugely significant role in the development of Islamic digital economy and FinTech for almost the past decade, resulting in our leadership position in this sector,” Ruslena said. “I am proud to be able to be part of this machinery now, joining the best-in-class team to contribute not only to MDEC but to the nation as well.”
Ruslena will report to the MDEC’s Vice President for Tech Ecosystem and Globalisation, Gopi Ganesalingam.