Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A six-member delegation of the World Zakat Forum (WZF) paid a working visit to the D-8 secretariat in Istanbul on Monday as part of efforts to familiarize the world community with the presence and role of the forum.

The delegation led by WZF Secretary General KH Didin Hafidhuddin was received by D-8 Secretary General Widi A Pratikno at the latter`s office, the D-8 secretary general said in a press statement on Tuesday.

D-8 is an organization of economic cooperation set up by eight developing countries -- Indonesia, Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran.

At the meeting, Widi said one of the D-8`s main focuses was how to encourage cooperation among members states in the field of Islamic financing (sharia compliant financing), considering that the sector had been growing rapidly in the past three decades.

This sector was also one of the three economic pillars in Islam besides the real sector and the tithe (zakat, infak, shadaqah and wakaf) sector, and had the great potential to speed up development of the national economy, he said.

Therefore, the D-8 secretary general added, he warmly welcomed every effort to take maximum advantage of sharia economic potentials, including encouraging the zakat sector to stimulate economic growth in the real sector like what the WZF had done so far.

Meanwhile, Didin Hafidhuddin said zakat (tithe) potentials in the Islamic world were projected to reach about Rp6,000 trillion per year. However, only one-third of the potentials had been collected.

Therefore, he said WZF was making an effort to collect as much tithe as possible and make efficient use of tithe by adopting an international tithe management standard.

Cooperation and synergy between WZF and D-8 was a strategic step both sides must optimize, he said.

In response, Widi promised to communicate the plan for such cooperation and synergy to the governments of D8 member countries.

During their stay, the delegation also visited the PASIAD Headquarters. PASIAD is a Turkish international non-governmental organization engaged in education, social empowerment. It now runs almost 200 schools in 23 Asia Pacific countries. Seven of the schools are located in Indonesia.

Editor: Bambang
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