SESRIC and Bank Indonesia Jointly Organized International Forum on Islamic Digital Economy
Date: 29 October 2020
Venue: Virtual, Jakarta - Indonesia

The Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) and Bank Indonesia in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) jointly organized a virtual International Forum on ‘Islamic Economic Digitalization and Inclusion: Policy Development and Implementation in the OIC Countries’ on 29 October 2020.

The Forum was organized as part of the 7th Indonesia Sharia Economic Festival (ISEF) 2020 which is being held in Jakarta, Indonesia under the theme of ‘Mutual Empowerment in Accelerating Sharia Economic Growth through Promoting Halal Industries for Global Prosperity’. The Forum brought together high level policy makers, economists and finance industry experts from OIC member countries and institutions to discuss the impacts of the digitalization on the economic and financial development, especially in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Forum commenced with the welcoming remarks of H.E. Mr. Nebil DABUR, Director General of SESRIC. During his speech, Mr. DABUR underlined the importance of Islamic finance as an ethical alternative to conventional finance offering unique perspectives and solutions for socio-economic development. In addition, Mr. DABUR highlighted that the Islamic banks and financial institutions can unlock their substantial growth and profitability potential especially by focusing on the ongoing digital revolution in the global banking and finance landscape. To this end, he added, the adoption of new technologies like blockchain, Big Data, application programming interfaces and process automation is of particular importance not only to develop and offer new products and solutions and but also to broaden their access and outreach to international customers.

Later on, H.E Dr. Sugeng, Deputy Governor Bank Indonesia, delivered a keynote speech underlining the impacts of digital disruptions on the Islamic economy and finance and ideal policy responses in maximizing the beneficial effect of economic digitalization. Dr. Sugeng also highlighted the risks and challenges that digitalization is posing with respect to regulation and cyber security. Fostering intra-OIC and global cooperation through suitable digital platforms could be instrumental in the development of Halal value chains and improving the variety and outreach of sharia based products and services, he concluded.

The opening session was followed by two panel discussions on (1) Designing Islamic Economic Digitalization in OIC Countries and (2) Digital Based Financial Inclusion through Islamic Social Finance Platform. As per the programme, these panel discussions featured discussants from various national, regional and international organizations and covered a range of topics including:

  • State of economic digitalization and inclusion;
  • Monetary and macro-prudential policy in the era of digitalization;
  • Designing Islamic economic digitalization policies in OIC member countries;
  • Digital based financial inclusion through Islamic social finance platforms;
  • Potential of digital platforms for enhancing intra-OIC cooperation.

The panel discussions were followed by a very interactive and stimulating Q&A session. The Forum was concluded with the closing remarks made by Mr. Anwar Bashori, Head of Islamic Economics and Finance Department, Bank Indonesia.