Jakarta. Ma'ruf Amin, chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, or MUI, has expressed hope that small and medium enterprises in the country will gain more financial access so that they can improve people's livelihoods.
The prominent cleric said the Indonesian economy should shift fundamentally to eliminate socioeconomic gaps by prioritizing the implementation of a "people's economy."
Speaking during the MUI's 2017 People's Economic Congress at Hotel Grand Sahid in Central Jakarta on Sunday (23/04), Ma'ruf also called on participants to come up with innovative ideas, which they can submit to the government for consideration.
He highlighted the changes the government should make to allow SMEs to gain better access to the financial, service, production and distribution sectors.
"The new wave of the Indonesian economy [may be achieved] by making fundamental changes to the regulations that block small entrepreneurs from enjoying access to financial access and also to others, such as services, production and distribution," Ma'ruf said.
Before coming to a close on Monday, the congress issued a declaration that mainly addresses socioeconomic disparities between communities.
The declaration calls for fair and equal distribution of resources; an independent national economic system to address economic disparities; strengthening human resources; accelerating the optimization and redistribution of natural resources; and for SMEs to become the main players in the national economy.
The goal of the congress was to address economic issues faced by the nation, and to cooperate on all economic ideals to improve people's welfare.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo opened the congress on Saturday, while Vice President Jusuf Kalla attended Monday's closing ceremony. Several government ministers and business leaders also attended the event.
Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about the 2017 People's Economic Congress.