International Hajj Conference 2020

International Hajj Conference 2020

Badan Pengelola Keuangan Haji (BPKH)- Indonesia Hajj Fund Management Agency (BPKH) and Bank of Indonesia organized a 2-day virtual International Hajj Conference on 27-28 October 2020, which was part of the 7th Indonesia Sharia Economic Festival (ISEF) 2020.

The Conference was inaugurated by Dr. Yuslam Fauzi, Chairman of Supervisory Board of BPKH. H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), delivered the Keynote Speech at the Conference alongside Mr. Perry Warjiyo, Governor of Bank of Indonesia.

The Conference discussed the challenges and opportunities in Global Hajj Fund Management and the Economics of Hajj. The first session with the theme “Global Hajj Management” invited eminent speakers who are the leaders of Hajj Management Agency, i.e. Dato’ Nik Mohd Hasyudeen Yusoff of Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) Malaysia; Haji Osman bin Haji Md Jair of Tabung Amanah Islam Brunei (TAIB); Ishag Ibrahim Jae of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) and Anggito Abimanyu of Indonesia Hajj Fund Management Agency (BPKH). These speakers have similar understanding that the hajj fund management shall be conducted in a professional, safe, amanah and sharia manner. The hajj fund management can still be carried out in a good manner despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subsequently, the second session of Day 1 focused on the theme “The Economics of Hajj”. The speakers in this session come from academicians or Islamic organisations, i.e. Mohammed Hedi Mejai of IsDB; Azmi Omar of International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF); Mohsin Tutla of World Hajj and Umrah Convention (WHUC) and Said Ladki of American Lebanese University. The speakers discussed the economic opportunities that can be given to the sending countries beside the capital outflow. Moreover, they are also looking for cooperation that can be done between the sending countries and the host country (Saudi Arabia) in order to have more economic value especially during the recession where priorities are now given to pandemic prevention/restoration.

Moreover, on Day 2 of the Conference, two sessions with a theme of Islamic Investment Forum were carried out. The first session discussed the Global Outlook on the Islamic Economic and Finance where it included well-known local and foreign speakers such as James Walsh of IMF Indonesia; Riza Tyas Utami of Bank of Indonesia; Dwi Irianti Hadiningdyah of Ministry of Finance of Republic of Indonesia and Ali Tawfeeq of HSBC. They discussed the existing global economic situations as well as strategies to mitigate the COVID-19 situation.

Finally, on the last session which put emphasis on Sharia-Compliant Project Portfolio Management, various outstanding speakers were also invited such as Mohammad Ishtiaq Akbar of IsDB; Hurriyah El-Islamy of BPKH; Mashafuddin Syed Badarudin of Principal Asset Management and Johari Ali bin Abdullah (Gerald Ambrose) of Aberdeen Standard Islamic Investment. These speakers talked about investment portfolio managements, strategies and allocations amid Pandemic COVID-19. The need to have portfolio diversifications in order to increase the yield, was also part of the discussion.

It can be concluded from the 2-day Conference that there are challenges ahead that need to be solved together. First, let alone the certainty of ending period from the current Pandemic COVID-19 so that Hajj and Umrah can be performed normally. Second, the World is going to enter an economic crisis as people need money for their primary needs where hajj will be prioritized less. In addition to those, investment strategies and product innovations (sukuk, equities, etc) to increase the yield is also a factor that should be looked into. The speakers also agreed to intensify cooperation among hajj mission especially in the area of hajj fund management.

Dr. Anggito Abimanyu, Head of Executive Board of BPKH highlighted, in response to current challenges, the importance for hajj fund management to comply with sharia principles and be conducted more professionally, optimally, and safely. He also emphasized the need for multilateral cooperation and synergy among the hajj mission in managing the hajj fund to the benefit of pilgrim globally. (Humas)

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