Indonesia’s Tokopedia and Bukalapak are developing halal marketplaces

The platforms will be designed to bolster the country’s sharia-compliant economy.

Two Indonesian e-commerce unicorns, Tokopedia and Bukalapak, signed a memorandum of understanding to build online halal marketplaces and sharia-compliant financial products, as reported by local media Medcom. The new developments fall under the five-year Indonesian Islamic Economics Master Plan program that was launched yesterday by the National Islamic Finance Committee (KNKS), and are part of an effort to accommodate the needs of Muslims in the country.

The halal marketplace section on Tookopedia and Bukalapak will make it easier for users to locate and identify products with halal certification numbers, and also provide access to each company’s existing sharia-compliant mutual funds.

Indonesia’s Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister, Finance Ministry and, National Development Planning Board project that the country will become the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2045 and KNKS is encouraging other tech industry players to develop and introduce services to foster the growth of Muslim-driven consumption.

The Indonesian Islamic Economics Master Plan is a program that aims to drive the Indonesian sharia-based economy. Indonesia currently ranks 10th in the Global Islamic Economy Indicator, well below Malaysia and the UAE, even though Indonesia is home to the largest Muslim population in the world.

Speaking to the local press yesterday at the event for the master plan’s kick-off, President Joko Widodo mentioned four key strategies for boosting the country’s sharia-based economy. One of his major points was to strengthen the digital economy, especially through e-commerce and fintech platforms.

Besides Tokopedia and Bukalapak, the state-owned fintech platform LinkAja is also part of the master plan program. It will develop a sharia-compliant digital payment and electronic money platform, called LinkAja Shariah, to handle transactions for the halal marketplace, Islamic financial products, halal tourism, and other relevant channels.

LinkAja, which is a consortium of Indonesian state-owned enterprises, had promised the launch of its own mobile payment platform earlier this year. However, the roll-out has been postponed three times. LinkAja is now scheduled to launch in June. Its sharia-compliant counterpart will be introduced in August.