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Vice President: Halal Products Become Solutions for National Economic Recovery

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The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic not only affects health aspects, but also extends to social and economic aspects. Economic activity decreased dramatically in line with restrictions on community activities to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 disease. This slowing down has not only occurred in Indonesia, but has become a phenomenon of global recession, including in the Islamic economic sector.

This was conveyed by the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, Prof.Dr. (Hc) Kh.Ma’ruf Amin in the webinar series Indonesia Islamic Festival (IIFEST) 2020 organized by PT Dyandra Promosindo together with the Executive Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) some time ago.

“Indonesia, which has been active in global trade, both as an exporter and importer, has been affected.In addition to serious efforts to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, at the same time, we must also deal with the economic impact of the pandemic,” said Ma’ruf Amin.

Sharia economic sector is considered to be one of the pillars in national recovery efforts. Therefore, efforts to re-excite Islamic finance after the pandemic are important to revive the national economy.

“Even though the growth is negative, I still see opportunities. Global demand for halal products can still be utilized. Considering the small number of our export products. We must take advantage of this opportunity for national economic recovery,” explained Ma’ruf Amin.

The government has refocused and reallocated state budget funds in 2020 to provide weaker economic stimulus. More than 60% is allocated to maintain the welfare of households, Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs), as well as corporations. In addition, there are various other intensive, such as tax relief. 

In today’s critical condition, the financial sector cannot be an accelerator of economic recovery. This is because the corporation reduces production and investment activities. Thus, the MSEs sector is one of the main drivers. This is based on the fact that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) cover 99% of the number of business units in Indonesia. In addition, MSMEs also contribute to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as well as contributing 58% of total investment and 14% of total exports. 

Therefore, the development of MSMEs is included in the priority of Islamic economic and financial development. There are four things that are the focus of current Islamic economic and financial development, including: development and expansion of the halal product industry, Islamic finance, Islamic social funds, and Sharia business activities.

Efforts to Optimize Digital Technology

In both crisis and post-crisis conditions, said Ma’ruf Amin, Indonesia must strengthen the capacity of Sharia business actors at the UMKM scale, especially in serving the basic needs of the community during a pandemic.

Strengthening is carried out by, among other things, facilitating business actors to continue production, expand market share and market their products efficiently. One of the initiatives that must be taken is to encourage the use of digital technology.

“Currently, several market places have facilitated MSEs to sell their products online. The World Bank survey results show that economic activities that utilize digital technology or conduct online marketing activities have decreased slightly, compared to those who do not do online marketing, “said Ma’ruf Amin.

On a global scale, MSEs are also encouraged to become part of the global halal value chain to spur business growth and increase the economic resilience of the people. That way, Indonesia can achieve two goals at once, namely: to make Indonesia the host in its own country and become a global player in the halal product industry.

“Data for 2018, Indonesia is still the largest consumer of halal food and beverage products in the world, with a total expenditure of 214 billion USD. Meanwhile, the contribution of Indonesian halal products is only around 3.8% of the total world halal market. The export market for halal products is still dominated by countries that are not predominantly Muslim. Therefore, the vision of developing the Indonesian halal industry is not only for fulfilling huge domestic needs, but also to expand global trade, ”concluded Ma’ruf Amin. (YN)

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