Monday, 22 April 2013


Execution of Free Trade Act, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between ASEAN and six regional countries in Pnom Penh Cambodia sometime ago incorporated the service sector. Foreign workers of countries who joined the Pact were desirous to work in ASEAN states includ­ing Indonesia. The Pact included ASEAN countries, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and India.

Meanwhile the scope of collaboration was not just in trading only but also included investment, service and increased of capacity. In principle the Pact respected the workplan of each country adjusted to domestic capacity. In consequence, Free Trading also encompassed the service sector. A condition a such would make ASEAN the target of the labor sector from India and China. It was also agreed that ASEAN with PAGE media opened the service sector with certain limitations. The types of profession being opened included the level of director, manager and specialists.

Chairman of the Indonesian Businesspeople Association (APINDO), Sofyan Wanandi on Monday (28/11) reminded the Government to consider competitiveness of Indonesia's industry in the future. Supposedly the Government did not run a mere popular policy for a short term benefit. Without sound preparation, Indonesian workers would be mere onlookers when the ASEAN market pact was in effect. Foreign workers would enter the labor market in Indonesia which could have been filled by local workers. “I am afraid our workers would become mere spectators as they were unable to compete against foreign workers coming from may countries” Sofyan was quoted as saying.

Poor control in labor affairs due to autonomy of regional Governments caused foreign expatriates to hold positions which could have been filled by local workers. Poor understanding of labor affairs among regional leaders made many Personnel Department head position being held by incompetent officials. He showed as an example outburst of workers revolt in Batam, the Province of Rau in 2010 lest could be a lesson to learn from. There was accumulated griev­ances among local employees because many expatriates of Indian origin were holding positions which could have been held by local personnel and the situ­ation had triggered the outburst.

Sofyan warned that employment of Foreign workers (TKA) in Indonesia must be under control and strictly supervised. Therefore employment agencies recruiting foreign workers were obliged to obey local rues end regulations in labor affairs. Solyan said that the Government must be selective in giving away work permit for foreign workers and exercise strin­gent control so companies would obey the existing rules and regulations.

To quote data of the Ministry of Labor and Transmigration, based on the Permit for Employing Foreign Workers (IMTA) released by the Ministry, in January-September 2012 there were 57,826 foreign workers. The foreign workers working in industry sector were posted at 31,073 people, the trading sector 11,367 people and the construction sector 5,031 people. In 2011 the IMTA permit being re­leased came to 77,144 people broken down as: the majority working in the industrial sector 40,423 workers, trading 14,142 workers and construction 7,177 workers.

According to Sofyan foreign workers must bring advancement promoting quality of develop­ment, i.e., through transfer of knowledge and transfer of technology. Foreign workers working in Indonesia must transfer their knowledge to local workers. Therefore employers or companies must make sure that foreign workers transfer their skill and knowl­edge to local workers working in the same company. Other considerations were the principle of benefit and legality. Beside having to produce documents and permit, employment of foreign workers would open wide employment opportunities especially for local workers.

Business News - November 30, 2012

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