Jakarta (ANTARA) - State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir has launched a program to improve Indonesian halal products' market penetration through the Islamic Economic Society ((MES) in such countries as Russia, Morocco, Sudan, Singapore, South Korea, China and Saudi Arabia. ,

"To support product development internationally, the Islamic Economic Society has ventured to open networks in several regions abroad," Erick Thohir said at the launch of the new logo of the Islamic Economic Society and the commemoration of the 2021 National Santri Day in Jakarta on Friday.

Currently, he said, he is also trying to open the MES network in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, and Brunei, especially through the Indonesian diaspora who live in these countries.

Collaboration between the sharia industry and the government, Islamic boarding schools, and students of Islamic boarding schools is also a must at the present time because COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all sectors, the minister said.

Therefore, he said he believes that the economic balance must be maintained.

"Do not let big businesses get bigger, while small ones get smaller," he cautioned.

He also thanked the President and the Vice President for continuing to formulate excellent policies to ensure economic balance, including emphasizing job creation and creating new entrepreneurs.

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Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin had earlier pressed for augmenting the exports of Indonesian halal products to foreign nations, especially members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

"Indonesia's potential, as a market for Muslim products, should be followed by efforts to improve the nation’s export performance abroad, especially to OIC countries," Amin remarked while opening the online Indonesia Industrial Moslem Exhibition here on Thursday.

Based on data from the Economic Outlook for 2020 released by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Indonesia is the fifth-largest exporter of halal products globally.

"Indonesia is the fifth largest exporter, at 9.3 percent; after Saudi Arabia, 14.5 percent; Malaysia, 13.3 percent; the United Arab Emirates, 12.3 percent; and Turkey, 10.1 percent," Amin said.

In addition, Indonesia is the fourth-largest importer of halal products (8.4 percent); after the United Arab Emirates (12.2 percent); Turkey (12.1 percent); and, Malaysia (11.8 percent).

"Hence, Indonesia must work harder and strive to dominate the world halal market, especially in OIC countries," he affirmed.

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Translator: Agatha O, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Suharto
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