The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo opened the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum on Tuesday, highlighting the importance of innovation amid fragile economic recovery and the demographic bonus of a Muslim population as a strong advantage in facing global challenges.
“The world is facing the age of unprecedented innovation of artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, yet at the same time we live in an unprecedented instability, inequality, security threats all around the world and fragile economic recovery,” Jokowi said in his opening remarks at the Jakarta Convention Center.
Islamic fashion, cuisine, arts and architecture have been growing rapidly and have the potential to create a new international economy, he continued. However, Muslim societies face huge challenges, such as a high unemployment rate among young people.
“We, the Muslim society, must use our fundamental strength as the best demographic of any religious community with the highest proportion of young people,” Jokowi said, citing data that shows that the median age of younger Muslims is 23 years, while the median age of young non-Muslims is 30 years.
Themed "Decentralizing Growth, Empowering Future Business" the forum, which will run until Thursday, will emphasize the progress of enterprises, while also exploring topics such as infrastructure investment, zakat (alms) and waqf (charitable endowment) management and Islamic tourism.
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