Financial Services Authority, Jakarta, May 15, 2015: Chairman of Board of Commissioners of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) Muliaman D. Hadad presented as key speaker in a seminar themed Economic and Business Ethic in Christianity and Islam held at Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Vatican City, Friday (May 15, 2015). The seminar discussed about Sharia finance concepts in improving social prosperity, especially of low-income society.The seminar was arranged by Indonesian Embassy in the Holy See (Vatican City), Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas or Angelicum, a pontifical university managed by the Holy See. Muliaman during the occasion conveyed that the important role of Sharia finance must be directed towards improving society`s access to financial sector or financial inclusion. Thereby, its existence will be beneficial for enhancing social prosperity.Besides its role in absorbing financial turmoil and economic development, Sharia financial industry is important for advancing society`s access or financial inclusion, which is implemented, among others, through financial literacy, Muliaman said.Continuous, rapid development in Sharia financial industry has to be followed with improved access to financial services for most of population, including access to funding for small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs. Muliaman also said that financial concepts in Islam and Catholic have many similarities, with intention towards ethic-based financial system that promotes justice and aims to help low-income society.Muliaman conveyed as well about some matters that are important for effort of developing Sharia financial industry, such as supporting market operation that is free, fair and transparent in Sharia financial services sector, improving capabilities of human resources in the field of Sharia finance, and developing standard Sharia financial products through research and innovation.Other key speakers in the seminar included Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, a Ghanaian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who serves as the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Indonesian resource persons who also presented as speakers in the seminar were Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia Halim Alamsyah and Chairman of Tazkia University College of Islamic Economics (STEI Islam) Muhammad Syafii Antonio who is an expert in finance and Sharia banking.For about the last 40 years, Sharia financial industry has remained adamant to its principles that include, among others, establishing economic justice, fair distribution of wealth, and channeling of social fund for real economic programs that are productive and advantageous. Sharia banking remained the most developing subsector in the financial industry, with global annual growth reaching around 16 percent and total asset of USD 1 trillion.Islamic capital market, especially sukuk bonds market, has developed significantly, with issuance of USD 139 billion in 2012. Sharia non-bank financial industry, which covers takaful insurance, investment bank, asset management, pension fund, microfinance institutions, etc., also grows continuously and plays important roles in reaching the industry`s targets.
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