Indonesia's sharia financial industry is a sleeping giant: Jokowi

Indonesia's sharia financial industry is a sleeping giant: Jokowi

President Joko Widodo. ANTARA/HO-Presidential Secretariat Press Bureau/Rusman/am/sh

The sharia financial industry is a sleeping giant.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) affirmed that the government will endeavor to drive development of the domestic sharia financial industry that he described as a sleeping giant.

"The sharia financial industry is a sleeping giant. The government is primarily concerned about awakening this giant," President Jokowi noted here, Wednesday, at the virtual opening of the Indonesia Sharia Economic Festival (ISEF) 2020.

Jokowi believes that one strategy to awaken the sleeping giant was to create an entity that will emerge as the largest sharia bank in Indonesia.

The president drew reference to the merger of three state-owned sharia banks: PT BRI Syariah Tbk, PT Bank Syariah Mandiri, and PT BNI Syariah.

Assets of the three sharia banks, as of the first semester of 2020, had totaled Rp214 trillion.

"Through a simple approach, all assets of state-owned sharia banks will be merged to deliver a giant sharia bank," he remarked.

On the other hand, the head of state highlighted the government’s continued endeavors to establish a micro endowment bank at several locations. The government has worked closely with Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) and religious-based organizations to drive development of the sharia financial industry.

"We are optimistic that the sharia financial industry would emerge as an alternative to boost the people's economy," he stated.

Development of the sharia economy in the real sector, labor-intensive and halal industry can potentially absorb significant workforce and create new businesses.

In the halal industry, Indonesia has offered various top products, including foods, cosmetics, and fashion.

"However, the halal industry’s potential had yet to be explored optimally for which integrated and comprehensive development of the sector is deemed necessary," the president emphasized. Related news: Sharia banks' merger to catalyze development of sharia economy: OJK
Related news: Sharia-compliant fintech can actively spur on economic recovery: Amin