REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) mentioned how great the economic and financial potential of sharia is in Indonesia. With the largest Muslim population in the world, Jokowi sees that Indonesia has the opportunity to become a major player in the Islamic economy and finance. Indonesia, he said, must be able to take advantage of the large capital it already has.
In fact, Jokowi sees the phenomenon of the Islamic financial industry in Indonesia as a sleeping giant. Has great power, but unfortunately the existing power cannot be utilized. Seeing this condition, Jokowi continued, the government was trying to wake up the sleeping giant.
"The government has great concern to raise this giant. One of them is by building the largest Islamic bank in Indonesia," Jokowi said at the opening of the Indonesia Sharia Economic Festival (ISEF), Wednesday (28/10).
The concept of building the largest Islamic bank, said Jokowi, was by merging all state-owned Islamic bank assets into one giant Islamic bank. There are three sharia subsidiaries belonging to state-owned banks that were merged, namely PT BRI Syariah Tbk (BRIS), PT Bank Syariah Mandiri (BSM), and PT BNI Syariah (BNIS). The total assets owned by the merged bank reached a fantastic figure, IDR 214.6 trillion (per semester I 2020).
"A large number," said Jokowi.
Jokowi hopes that the merger of Islamic banks can promote the people's economy. BRI Syariah, which has already taken the floor on the stock exchange, is the place for this merger. With this syariah bank merger, services for customers have expanded, including 1,200 branches and 1,700 ATMs throughout Indonesia.
In addition to the merger of Islamic banks, Jokowi added, efforts to revive the national Islamic finance industry were carried out by the government through the development of micro waqf banks. These micro waqf banks were built in various regions in the country by collaborating with Islamic boarding schools and religious organizations.
"The development of a sharia economy based on the real sector, labor intensive and the halal industry is also very potential. To expand employment and open new business opportunities," said Jokowi.
Islamic economic development opportunities also cover many business sectors. Jokowi said that Indonesia has the opportunity to become a major player in supplying world halal products such as food, cosmetics and fashion.
"Even for fashion industry, we have aspirations to be the world's largest Muslim fashion center. Unfortunately we have not utilized this huge potential in the halal industry. Therefore, we need to do an integrated and comprehensive development effort," said the president.