Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno pair has emphasized the need for Indonesia to have the biggest sharia bank in the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, as it is the country with the world's largest Muslim population.

According to Vice Presidential candidate number 02 Sandiaga Uno who spoke during the final round of the presidential debate here on Saturday evening, Indonesia must not be just a market for foreign halal products, but instead, should also emerge as a global exporter of these products.

The halal economy was not just about certification, but much more, considering its strength was estimated to reach around Rp3,300 trillion, he said.

Presidential candidate number 02 Prabowo Subianto added that a hajj saving bank would be opened if the Prabowo-Sandi pair won the presidential elections due to be held on April 17.

"We are keen to find a hajj saving bank, and it will be managed professionally and transparently. The funds collected will not be misused," he said.

In connection with the halal economy, a report produced by the Dubai International Financial Center revealed that with 1.8 billion Muslims all across the world, their spending was estimated at US$2.1 trillion in 2017 (https://haladinar.io/hdn/doc/report2018.pdf).

The report further revealed that globally, Muslims had spent an estimated $2.1 trillion in 2017 across lifestyle sectors, while the Islamic finance sector had $2.4 trillion in total assets.

"With regard to Muslim spending by category, food and beverage leads at $1.3 trillion, followed by clothing and apparel at $270 billion, media and entertainment at $209 billion, travel at $177 billion, and pharmaceuticals and cosmetics at $87 billion and $61 billion, respectively," it noted.

Considering the huge potency of the world's halal economy, Malaysia has even leaped to lead this economic sector among countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

This Saturday evening witnesses the final clash of the titans—the presidential and vice-presidential pairs—as they go the whole hog to cement a strong voter base from 192 million people who will cast their votes on April 17.

This final round of debates between the Jokowi-Amin and Prabowo-Sandi pairs prioritizes critical matters concerning the economy, social welfare, finance and investment, as well as trade and industry.

For the final debate, the General Elections Commission (KPU) has also decided on 10 panelists in charge of conjuring up and preparing questions on the issues to be debated over by the pairs.

The panelist team comprises economists from various universities and organizations chosen by the KPU, specifically Muhammad Nasi, the Airlangga University rector; Eddy Suratman from the University of Tanjungpura; Muhammad Arief Mufraini from the Syarif Hidayatullah Islamic State University; and Suhartono from Diponegoro University.

Other eminent members of the panel feature Herman Karamoy from Sam Ratulangi University, I Nyoman Mahaendra Yasa from Udayana University, Harif Amali Riva'i from Andalas University, Dermawan Wibisono from Bandung Institute of Technology, Tukiman Taruno Sayoga from Soegijapranata Catholic University, and executive director of Indonesia Global Justice (IGJ) Rahmi Hertanti.


Translator: Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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