BANK Indonesia (BI) has encouraged Indonesia to take on a larger role as a halal industry producer by not only catering to demands in domestic markets but also transcending to global markets.

According to BI Deputy Governor Dody Waluyo said though we are currently the major consumer of the world’s halal food, fashion, and tourism products, we are quite optimistic. The optimism rose after Indonesia was ranked first in the Global Islamic Finance Report (GIFR) 2019 for development of the sharia finance ecosystem.

“The annual GIFR 2019 has placed Indonesia first after the country scored 81.93 on the 2019 Islamic Finance Country Index (IFCI). Last year, Indonesia was placed sixth according to the report,” he said.

Waluyo is buoyant about the country’s sharia economic growth, taking into account the fact that Muslims constitute 207 million, or 87.2 percent of its population.

As the world’s Muslim-majority nation, Indonesia will be capable of developing priority halal industrial products: food, halal tourism, Muslim fashion, creative industry, integrated agriculture, and renewable energy.

Indonesia will increase its credibility in the world by ensuring that its national sharia financial and economic development strategy focuses on innovation and quality.

He outlined three pillars of the Bank Indonesia Sharia Economic Blueprint, with the first pillar being sharia economic development through development of the Halal Value Chain to produce high-quality local products that are in line with international standards.

The second pillar pertains to deepening of sharia financial market by providing sharia financing that can integrate both sharia commercial and social financial sectors with the support of instrument variation, so it can target a larger investor network.

The third pillar involves better quality research and education to produce capable, professional, and competitive human resources that possess knowledge in keeping with international standard.

Waluyo remarked on the sidelines of the Indonesia Sharia Economy Festival (Fesyar) 2019 that BI, in cooperation with the National Committee on Sharia Finance (KNKS), will uphold its commitment to encouraging development of the sharia economy and finance.

“It is crucial to maintain a strong synergy, under the KNKS, in order to materialize Indonesia’s vision to become a center for the world’s sharia finance in future,” he stated.

Indonesia has outlined four major strategies of the 2019-224 Indonesian Syaria Economy Master Plan to develop sharia finance in the country encompassing efforts to strengthen the halal chain value; sharia finance; micro-, small- and medium-scale businesses; and development of the digital economy. [antaranews/photo special]