Indonesia is taking steps to ramp up its Islamic banking sector, which some financial analysts believe has the potential of creating the largest sharia finance area in the world.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said at the recently completed World Islamic Economic Conference in Kuala Lumpur that his government intends to push through the regulatory change necessary to support the industry's development, which
still only accounts for about 2% of total Indonesian banking activity.
Sharia banking conducts modern business while adhering to Islamic laws regarding financial transactions.
Nonetheless, the industry has grown rapidly in recent years, as banks tap deeper into one of the world's largest Muslim markets, where 87% of the country's 240 million people follow Islam. Worldwide, Islamic finance currently represents less than 10% of the total global Muslim market of 1.5 billion people.