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Indonesian unicorn wants to be Alibaba for Middle East's Muslims

E-commerce operator Bukalapak to bring halal food and fashion beyond Asia

The market for Islamic clothing and apparel is expected to grow from $270 billion in 2017 to $371 billion by 2023. (Photo by Keiichiro Asahara)

SINGAPORE -- Indonesian e-commerce platform Bukalapak will target Muslims living across the Middle East as it strives to become the Islamic world's answer to Amazon and Alibaba.

Indonesia's first cross-border e-commerce platform to appeal specifically to the world's 1.8 billion Muslims, Bukalapak co-founder and president Fajrin Rasyid said the company's Middle East expansion would hopefully "start as soon as possible" and focus first on countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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