Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Financial Services Authority (OJK) is continuing to strengthen Islamic financial institutions to support the development and improvement of Islamic financial and economic literacy, deputy chief of OJK’s board of commissioners, Mirza Adityaswara, has said.

"OJK will continue to strengthen Islamic financial institutions by prioritizing products' superiority and differentiation," he underlined at the “Financially Independent with Islamic Financial Products” webinar, which was followed from here on Thursday.

To boost the development of Islamic finance in Indonesia, the OJK has formulated policies under several road maps and masterplans related to the Islamic banking sector, the Islamic capital market, and Islamic people's financing banks, he noted.

One of OJK's efforts to boost the development of Islamic finance in Indonesia has been strengthening Islamic financial institutions, which has been supported by the strengthening of human resources, information technologies, and ecosystem synergies and interconnections in sharia finance.

“The Islamic financial services sector has become one of the priority targets for financial inclusion in 2023,” he added.

The OJK is also actively synergizing with the relevant ministries and agencies to advance Indonesia's Islamic finance, including by becoming a member of the National Committee for Islamic Economy and Finance (KNEKS).

He noted that the development of the Islamic finance sector also needs to prioritize the improvement of Islamic economic and financial literacy to maintain business continuity.

He said that Islamic economic and financial literacy has been one of the big challenges in the Islamic finance sector.

Based on a national survey on financial literacy and inclusion, in 2022, Indonesia's Islamic financial literacy stood at 9.1 percent. Meanwhile, according to Bank Indonesia (BI), the Islamic economic literacy index stood at 23.3 percent in 2022.

Those achievements are still far below the national financial literacy index, which has reached 49 percent.

The OJK invited people to improve their knowledge of Islamic finance as an alternative in the financial ecosystem, saying the Islamic finance sector offers a financial system that is halal, free from riba (interest), and has social values.

Islamic finance also functions as a driver for improving people's welfare through the provision of interest-free financing as well as the distribution of social funds such as zakat (alms), infaq (voluntary charity), sadaqah (simple alms), and waqf endowment.

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Translator: Martha Herlinawati, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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