Governor Pastika Concerned that Workers in Bali May be Unable to Compete Under Free Movement of Workers Between ASEAN Countries Starting in 2015
As reported by Beritabali.com, Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika has told an audience in Bali that he fears members of the Balinese workforce might be unable to compete with the increased competition with foreign workers provided for under the terms of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) that allows the free flow of workers between ASEAN nations beginning in 2015.
Speaking in an address given at a coordinating meeting on Training and Productivity held in Denpasar on Wednesday, November 13, 2014, Pastika stated that other countries in ASEAN have better prepared to face the challenges and opportunities resulting from AFTA. Referring to Philippine workers who will soon be able to works freely in Indonesia, Pastika said, “They are light skinned, clean and champions in the use of English.”
The Governor predicts that workers from the Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar will offer stiff competition for jobs in Indonesia once AFTA comes fully to effect. Citing the economic sector of transportation, Pastika fears Balinese taxi drivers could even lose their jobs under AFTA rules. “I am worried if we (in Bali) do not strengthen our skills and expertise, we will be left behind.
Tax drivers and nurses can be displaced in their employments by Philippine workers. These people are clean and speak English well,” explained the Governor. Possibly reflecting on his recent hospitalization in Singapore, Pastika said that nearly 70% of the nurses at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore come from the Philippines. Adding: “Not one of them (the nurses) are from Indonesia.
This is proof that we are losing in terms of global competition. If we do not get things in order quickly, there could be more unemployment in Bali because of the free movement of workers in ASEAN under AFTA.” The Governor explained that Bali’s unemployment rate has increased from 1.3% to 1.9% at the end of 2014.
“Bali is a place to look for a job. People for East Nusa Tenggara, East Java, Central Java and Sumatra (come here looking for work). We offer extraordinary job opportunities to all of Indonesia. But I am worried that we will lose out to competition for jobs beginning in 2015. Bali’s problem is the large number of workers and the migration of workers from neighboring regions,” concluded Governor Pastika.
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