JAKARTA: As demand for halal products grows across the Islamic world, Indonesia has plans to establish a halal economic zone in Jakarta.
The economic zone would likely include Islamic banks and financial institutions, as well as halal restaurants, hotels, malls, fashion boutiques and entertainment venues.
The idea is gaining traction thanks to greater demand for halal products and services.
The demand for halal products has grown in step with the rapid expansion of Islam, with the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2015 report projecting Muslim consumer spending on food and lifestyle to reach $2.6 trillion in 2020.
During a panel discussion titled ‘Jakarta as the Centre of Sharia Finance’ last Wednesday, Adiwarman Karim, a prominent member of the country’s National Sharia Board, said that the time was right for Indonesia to expand its Islamic economy.
“Only in Indonesia can people find sharia-based spas and karaoke establishments. You won’t find such a thing in Malaysia or Saudi Arabia,” he said.