Jakarta: Bank Indonesia (BI) has initiated establishment of national pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) holding businesses in order to realise economic independence at pesantren as a conduit of economic growth in the country.
The program was mentioned by Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Dody Budi Waluyo at the National Pesantren Gathering as part of the Indonesia Sharia Economic Festival (ISEF) 2019 in Jakarta on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
"A holding business is the integration of several business units to strengthen the pesantren in terms of capital, market development and access to information," BI said in a press statement released on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
Thus far, the program to develop economically independent pesantren has been implemented at more than 250 Islamic boarding schools nationally since 2017. Furthermore, the opportunity has also been taken to launch the Pesantren Business Declaration.
Moving forward, the development of independent pesantren will face various challenges to increase competitiveness. The first challenge is that Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world with a propensity towards halal certified products. The second challenge is the rapid growth of the digital economy in line with broad acceptance by millennials for financial services delivered through digital channels.
Therefore, the pesantren development program has been strengthened in order to make halal certified products available and ensure that pesantren are not only objects and markets in the era of the digital economy, which is expanding with rapidity, but also major movers in the digital economic ecosystem, particularly in terms of sharia-compliant products and services.