Ma'ruf Amin Laments Rampant Imports on Halal Foods



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaVice President Ma'ruf Amin said that as a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia is a high potential market for the development of the Islamic or sharia economy and finance.

    The middle-class Muslim who are increasingly aware of halal issues, according to the VP, is an opportunity to grow the halal industry, for example, halal foods, fashion, health facilities, tourism, and others.

    Ma'ruf lamented on the irony that Indonesia is still only a consumer of halal products, not a producer, despite being the largest muslim population.

    “Let alone being a global player, to meet its domestic need for halal foods, we have to import them,” he said in a webinar on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

    In 2018, Indonesia spent US$ 173 billion on halal food and drinks, or 12.6 percent of the world’s share of halal food products, making it the largest consumer compared to other Muslim-majority countries.

    On this basis, Ma'ruf said this is the time for Indonesia to build and strengthen the halal product industry. The short-term target is to meet domestic needs, and in the long run, it is hoped that the country can be a global player by increasing exports. Thus, industry development is one of the priorities to boost the sharia economy and finance in Indonesia.

    “The development of the halal industry is not only for the halal product itself but also to drive domestic industries that can create jobs and boost the national economy,” said Ma'ruf Amin.