Faculty of Economics and Business

The Indonesian Ministry of Religion Collaborates with Padjadjaran University to Conduct a Focus Group Discussion on Foreign Diplomacy to Strengthen the Hajj and Umrah Ecosystem

Bandung, 29 December 2022
Padjadjaran University through the Center for Management and Business Studies (LMFEB) and the Center for Islamic Economics and Business Studies (PSEBI) together with the Directorate General of Hajj and Umrah Management, Ministry of Religion of the Republic of Indonesia held a Focus Group Discussion on Hajj and Umrah Diplomacy to Strengthen the Hajj and Umrah Ecosystem in Indonesia at the Hotel Unpad Training Center (UTC) Unpad, Bandung, Tuesday – Thursday, 27-29 December 2022. This FGD presented speakers from the Ministry of Religion, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Industry, National Sharia Economic and Finance Committee (KNEKS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Relations Academics International and Sharia Economics from Padjadjaran University, and attended by more than 70 FGD participants from universities, Hajj and Umrah travel managers, KBIH, Islamic organizations, and society in general.
Yudi Ahmad Faisal, Ph.D. from the Center for Management and Business Studies (LMFEB) Universitas Padjadjaran as chair of the committee said that this FGD activity could be a soft strategy to synergize various related Institutions and Ministries in order to optimize diplomacy and the Hajj and Umrah ecosystem in Indonesia. In addition, strategic issues and insights from sources and participants can be directly mapped and used as material for formulating policy strategies and technical diplomacy programs and organizing more effective Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.
In his direction Prof. Hilman Latief, MA., Ph.D. as the Director General of Hajj and Umrah Management at the Ministry of Religion of the Republic of Indonesia (Dirjen PHU), said that the Ministry of Religion very much welcomes and is open to obtaining input from various stakeholders including academics and the public to optimize Hajj and Umrah services. Furthermore, the Director General of PHU said the importance of a road map or master plan for optimizing the Hajj and Umrah ecosystem in a structured and integrated manner involving various related ministries and institutions.
The first session of the FGD presented Subhan Cholid, Lc., MA., Director of Foreign Hajj Services at the Directorate General of PHU of the Ministry of Religion, Muhammad Hasan Gaido – President of the Indonesia Saudi Arabia Business Council, and Yuni Herlina Harahap – Center for Empowerment of the Halal Industry of the Ministry of Industry, and responder Drs. Teuku Rezasyah – International Relations Specialist at Padjadjaran University, and moderator Cupian, Ph.D. – Head of Padjadjaran University Islamic Economics Study Program. This session outlines several important issues in the implementation of the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage while in Saudi Arabia, including the hajj quota which is still not optimal considering the proportion of the population of Indonesian Muslims who are the largest in the world, and Indonesia which has not optimized the economic benefits of Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage activities in Saudi Arabia. Arabia for the benefit of the Indonesian people in the transportation, accommodation, consumption and hospitality sectors. Nonetheless, the role of the private sector must also be supported in optimizing Business to Business (B2B) diplomacy, as well as Business to Government (B2G). In addition, the resilience or resilience of the domestic industry, especially those related to the halal industry, must be properly prepared to support the various interests of Indonesian pilgrims and Umrah.
The second session of the FGD presented Bagus Hendraning Kobarsyih – Director of the Middle East Directorate General for Asia Pacific and Africa – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Akim – Head of the Padjadjaran University International Relations Study Program, as well as moderator Dr. Amelia Hayati, as well as the responder Prof. Dr. Ahmad Sarbini, M.Ag. Dean of the Faculty of Da’wah and Communication at UIN Sunan Gunung Djati Bandung. An important issue in this FGD is the importance of understanding various geopolitical, economic and cultural issues in developing a diplomatic strategy with Saudi Arabia. The Indonesian government must also be able to integrate the principles of Hajj diplomacy with national diplomacy to achieve national goals. For this reason, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia must collaborate with various related ministries so that the diplomacy functions carried out can be specifically and measurably directed to support the Hajj and Umrah ecosystem.
The Third Session of the FGD presented Ir. Johni Martha, ACCS, MBA., Director of Bilateral Negotiations – Directorate General of International Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Trade, Helma Agustiawan – Deputy Director of Sharia Business Incubator – National Committee for Sharia Economics and Finance (KNKES), as well as moderator Dr. Fitri Hastuti from Padjadjaran University. This session raised several important issues, including the absence of a bilateral agreement specifically in terms of a free trade agreement (FTA) or a comprehensive trade agreement between the government of Indonesia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To be able to trade with Saudi Arabia, the government and business actors must pay attention to the two-way aspects of trade, namely exports and imports. In addition, halal business actors must be able to meet local regulatory criteria to be able to export to Saudi Arabia and

compete fairly with various products coming from various countries. An important thing to pay attention to is the mutual recognition of Indonesian halal certification in Saudi Arabia. In addition, there needs to be an Institution that can technically coordinate various Institutions and Ministries related to Hajj and Umrah so that it can optimize the development of the Hajj and Umrah ecosystem in Indonesia.
From the FGD activities, several managerial recommendations can be formulated with the title “Dago Recommendations” as follows:

  1. Encouraging the Formulation of a Road Map/Master Plan for the Indonesian Hajj and Umrah Ecosystem including the issue of Diplomacy and the National Halal Industry in the context of Hajj and Umrah.
  2. Macro and Micro Diplomacy Optimization of Various Institutions and Ministries Related to Hajj and Umrah in a Systematic, Measurable and Synergistic manner.
  3. Strengthening Synergy between Institutions and Ministries Both Formally and Informally
  4. Strengthening MSMEs and the National Halal Industry
  5. Development of the Islamic Financial Ecosystem to Support the Hajj and Umrah Sector both within and within Saudi Arabia
  6. Development of Education and Vocational Schools to Support Human Resources for Managing Hajj and Umrah Activities in Indonesia