COVID-19 may lend impetus to sharia economy: Thohir

COVID-19 may lend impetus to sharia economy: Thohir

State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir at the Webinar on Sharia Economic Outlook in Jakarta on Wednesday (December 2, 2020). (ANTARA/ Zubi Mahrofi)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to serve as a momentum to boost the national sharia economy and improve its resilience to future shocks.

"This pandemic could be a momentum to accelerate (efforts to build) a resilient sharia economy," Minister Thohir said at the Webinar on Sharia Economic Outlook, held in Jakarta on Wednesday.

He also said he hopes the sharia economy will bring positive benefits to all Indonesian people and become one of the solutions to boost the national economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the webinar, sharia economic infrastructure director at the National Islamic Finance Committee (KNKS), Sutan Emir Hidayat, said the performance of sharia-based economic activities in the banking sector has still been relatively good amid the pandemic.

He said that in the second quarter of 2020, assets, financing, and third-party funds still recorded a better growth than conventional banking.

"The Islamic banking sector is still growing. Although it is still affected, the Islamic economy is still resilient," he remarked.

Sharia economist Adiwarman Karim has projected that 2021 will be a year of awakening for the national sharia economy.

"In 2021, the face of politics in Indonesia will change towards a more Islam-friendly and more embracing direction. This will be a great force for the sharia economy; 2021 is the first year of awakening," Adiwarman Karim said.

He added that domestic sharia-based economic activities were also supported by the geopolitical changes wrought by the United States in countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

He said the US would approach government partners who are more Islam-friendly. Meanwhile, China will approach the public to be accepted and ensure it is not seen as a communist or atheistic nation, but as a country with the second largest Muslim population in the world, he added.

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