KOMPAS.com – Indonesia’s Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Ministry and Switzerland forged a partnership aimed at better work and improved living standards.
While the cooperation focused on labor and manpower matters, it also demonstrated both countries' willingness to strengthen their bilateral relations.
Secretary-General of the Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Ministry Anwar Sanusi said the partnership also seeks to support the realization of goals set forth in the international agreement, EFTA-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA).
“The coronavirus pandemic has affected the economy, but through this cooperation, we are certain that we will survive and head towards a prospective economic recovery,” Anwar said in a written statement released at the ‘1st Joint Working Group Indonesia-Switzerland’ event.
The event, which was held virtually in Bandung, West Java on October 20, symbolizes the level of commitment between Indonesia and Switzerland in continuing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Geneva in June 2019.
“Members of the technical meeting comprised of government officials, tripartite members, and labor union workers as well as industry associations such as the Indonesian Employers Association or APINDO,” said Indah Anggoro Putri, Head of the International Cooperation Bureau of the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower.
According to Anwar, the Indonesia-Switzerland joint working group was crucial because nearly all countries are facing such unprecedented times stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Disruptions in trade, investment, tourism, business, labor market, and health care have taken place since the virus outbreak spread worldwide.
“The event serves to improve our economic relations particularly in terms of labor and cooperation,” said Anwar.
Anwar expressed his appreciation with the Swiss government for the cooperation with Indonesia. He added he is confident it will enhance working conditions, productivity, the standard of living, and quality of occupation in both countries.
“I hope that the joint working group becomes a strategic bilateral platform between Indonesia and Switzerland,” said Anwar.
In his speech, the Secretary-General of the Manpower Ministry also thanked the International Labor Organization for their effort in the ‘Better Work and Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises’ in Indonesia.
“The Indonesian government hopes that this collaboration will be continued in the future under a new approach oriented towards digitalization and the future of work,” said Anwar.
Indah concurred with Anwar, saying the expectation is to generate a sustainable output that will benefit employers and workers in the new normal.
Indah explained that the IE-CEPA is still being processed at the Swiss Parliament due to some sensitive points stipulated in the agreement, among them is the concern over Indonesia’s palm oil design work.
“Indonesia will continue to propose mutual recognition arrangements to enter the corridors of the IE-CEPA. I think Switzerland can acknowledge the skills of Indonesian workers in Europe which fulfill international salary standards,” Indah said.
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