Indonesia keen to harness untapped sharia economic potential

Indonesia, with the world’s largest Muslim population, constituting almost 90 percent of its 271 million people, has yet to unlock the vast, untapped potential of the sharia economy.

It is grim reality that Indonesia continues to trail behind other countries, both Muslim majority and non-Muslim majority nations, in terms of sharia economic development.

Malaysia led the Global Islamic Economy Indicator in 2019, with a score of 111 points, while Indonesia ranked fifth, with 49 points.

The ranking of 15 countries, with a Muslim-majority populace, was based on the indicators of Islamic finance, halal food, Muslim-friendly travel, the modest fashion industry, media and recreation, and pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Apart from that, the country’s Islamic economic literacy index remains low, notably at around 16.2 percent. In 2019, Indonesia’s sharia financial literacy rate was recorded at only 8.93 percent, according to data of the Financial Services Authority (OJK).

To promote the country’s sharia economy, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had inaugurated the Sharia Economic Brand on January 25, 2021, with the objective of raising public awareness of sharia economic activities.

“I welcome the inauguration of the Sharia Economic Brand. This is very important to increase public awareness as support for sharia economic activities,” the head of state remarked at the launch of the National Movement for Cash Waqf and inauguration of the Sharia Economic Brand at the State Palace in Jakarta.

The head of state, concurrently chairman of the National Committee on Sharia Economics and Finance (KNEKS), remarked that the Sharia Economic Brand will unify forces to boost the added value of sharia economy in Indonesia.

Jokowi drew attention to the fact that sharia economic development was not only being conducted by Muslim-majority nations but also by other countries, including Japan, Thailand, Britain, and the United States.

“We must seize this opportunity by pushing for acceleration. We must work toward accelerating development of the national Islamic economy and finance. We must prepare ourselves as the center of the global Islamic economy,” he emphasized.

 

Source: ANTARA News

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