The Jakarta Post
The Azerbaijan Embassy’s Charge d’Affaires Ruslan Nasibov recently met with Indonesian Cooperatives Association chairman Sahala Panggabean and Nasari Sharia Cooperatives chairman Chandra Saritua in Jakarta to discuss cooperation and opportunities in sharia-based cooperatives in both countries.
Sahala along with Anwar Abbas recently wrote a book titled The Ma’ruf Amin Way – Here Comes Indonesia, Asia’s New Tiger Economy. The book was edited by Chandra. The book, which was launched on Oct. 3, mainly focuses on Indonesian Vice President Ma’ruf Amin’s views on cooperative societies and how they can boost the country’s economic development.
During the meeting, which was quite intimate and vibrant, Nasibov was happy to offer business-to-business cooperation opportunities between the two countries.
Specifically, Nasibov said, businesspeople from both countries could discuss how digital platforms could leverage the role of sharia-based cooperatives in empowering Muslims economically, especially through their endeavors in making halal products, handicrafts and tourism.
In terms of creating a proper ecosystem for sharia-based cooperatives in both countries, the businesspeople can also explore the possibility of establishing cooperative study centers in both Indonesian and Azerbaijani universities to boost the competitiveness of human resources in the sector.
To accelerate welfare growth among members of the cooperatives through the stimulation of handicraft export and halal tourism business, businesspeople from both countries would also push for the creation of direct flights to and from both countries’ capital cities – Jakarta and Baku – which will hopefully attract more tourism and business activities.
Halal tourism is a sector with exceptionally high potential for both countries to capitalize on since they are Muslim-majority countries. About 90 percent of Azerbaijan’s 10 million population are Muslims, while over 225 million Indonesians are Muslims, or 83 percent of the total population.
For instance, Muslim Azerbaijani tourists may be attracted to visit certain spots such as Barus city in North Sumatra – the entry point through which Islam was spread around the archipelago – as well as tracing the walk of the Wali Songo, nine Muslim messengers locally referred to as “the saints of Java” as they spread the religion from East Java right on to Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara.
As a follow up to the meeting, soon a technical team from the Azerbaijan Embassy in Jakarta and the Nasari Sharia Cooperatives will formulate a memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining aspects of the bilateral cooperation.
Ma’ruf will witness the MoU signing.