Indonesia’s National Development Planning Board is studying whether to set up a special sharia economic zone in Jakarta, which will include providers of Islamic banking services and takaful (insurance).
Sharia economy expert Adiwarman Karim, told The Jakarta Post
: “The clients of sharia-based banks, Reksa Dana equity fund, pawnshops, as well as insurance products, have reached 40 million people, bigger than the populations of Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and the United Arab Emirates combined.”
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According to Adiwarman, Indonesia is a world center of Islamic culture, such as finance, food, and entertainment. The country has the largest Muslim population in the world, with almost 205 million, or 12.7% of the entire world’s adherents of Islam.
The growth of the Islamic financial sector in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia has been strong in recent years, surpassing even that of the Middle East. In Indonesia, the sector has seen double-digit growth, such as a 13% increase from October 2014 to October 2015.
A survey by the Financial Times
also revealed that 61% of Indonesians said that they use Islamic banking services primarily, or as often, as conventional ones.
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