Thursday 14 January 2016

Singapore, Indonesia express interest in manpower development cooperation

In terms of economic partnership, the Republic's Foreign Minister believes Singapore companies will be looking for more opportunities to invest in Indonesia amid the country's ongoing economic reforms.
By Saifulbahri Ismail, Channel NewsAsia, 12 Jan 2016

JAKARTA: Singapore and Indonesia have expressed interest to enhance cooperation in areas such as manpower development, and this includes a scheme to help companies from Singapore recruit talent in Indonesia.

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore's Foreign Minister, said this during a meeting in Jakarta with his counterpart Ms Retno Marsudi.

"We believe Indonesian universities and technical institutes will produce many graduates with digital skills and we are thinking of launching a scheme, in which Singapore companies - which are looking for talent - will be able to recruit talent here, deploy them here, and provide services for the rest of the world," he said.

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Posted by Vivian Balakrishnan on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The meeting was held on the first day of Dr Balakrishnan's visit to Jakarta. Earlier on Tuesday (Jan 12), he had also met with Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan. The visits are part of his introductory visits to countries in the region, after taking office as Singapore's new Foreign Minister.

Dr Balakrishnan said Singapore and Indonesia have a long, deep and multifaceted relationship. In terms of economic partnership, he believes Singapore companies will be looking for more opportunities to invest in Indonesia amid the country's ongoing economic reforms that will provide better regulatory certainty.


In addition, Dr Balakrishnan said Singapore looks forward to opportunities to rejuvenate the collaborative projects the two countries have in Batam, Bintan and Karimun.

Ms Retno also indicated that the two countries could cooperate in manpower for caregivers.

"There is a possibility of cooperation in manpower for caregivers,” said Ms Retno. “I expressed the Indonesian government's appreciation to Singapore for the good treatment given to Indonesian workers in Singapore. Moving forward, Indonesia will also increase its skilled workers, among them related to caregiver therapists."

Indonesia is also keen to increase its export in agri-business to Singapore. Ms Retno said Singapore needs agriculture products and Indonesia has the export capacity.

Both foreign ministers also discussed the possibility of Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visiting Indonesia this year, which is expected to be one of the highlights marking 50 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Indonesia.

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry (MFA) said Dr Balakrishnan also met with Governor of the Special Capital Region of Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.

The two discussed ways in which Singapore could cooperate more closely with the Jakarta government "in areas of mutual benefit", said MFA, adding that Mr Basuki hosted Dr Balakrishnan on a tour of the Jakarta City Hall, as well as briefed him on the operations of the Jakarta Smart City Lounge.

On Wednesday, Dr Balakrishnan is scheduled to meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Wrapped-up my visit to Jakarta today.I called on President Joko Widodo this morning. We discussed opportunities for...
Posted by Vivian Balakrishnan on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bad move, Dr Chee...#CheeSoonJuan #VivanBalakrishnan #MFA #Indonesia #ForeignTalent #PAP #politics #misleading #Singapore #crazyrandomchatter
Posted by Crazyrandomchatter on Friday, January 15, 2016

Singapore, Indonesia talk HR development
Scheme to help companies from Singapore recruit talent in Indonesia on the cards
By Francis Chan, Indonesia Bureau Chief In Jakarta, The Straits Times, 13 Jan 2016

Singapore-based companies may soon be able to look to Indonesia's youth for talent under a new partnership that is part of wide-ranging efforts to enhance ties between the two countries.

This was revealed by Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday at a media briefing in Jakarta, alongside his Indonesian counterpart, Ms Retno Marsudi, on the first day of his two-day inaugural visit as Singapore's top envoy.

Both foreign ministers underlined the importance of the long-standing relationship between the two countries - built on strong historical and trade ties - and pledged to collaborate in new areas such as human resources.

Earlier, Dr Balakrishnan also met Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan and Minister of Communication and Information Technology Rudiantara.

Dr Balakrishnan was briefed by Mr Luhut on Jakarta's efforts to improve the investment climate in the Batam-Bintan-Karimun (BBK) Special Economic Zone as well as its security initiatives.

Other issues discussed between the two men include the Flight Information Region or FIR. Singapore has been controlling the airspace over some parts of Riau since 1946, after the International Civil Aviation Organisation allocated the airspace to Singapore on operational and technical merits.

Mr Luhut said after the meeting that while Indonesia intends to "take back" control of the airspace, the process will "take a long time".

"Certainly we cannot take over immediately, but there have been discussions," he added. "Singapore will manage with us for some time because the airspace is busy and high skills are required."

On issues of security and terrorism, Mr Luhut said that Singapore "appreciates that with the worldwide security alerts in December, Indonesia was able to ensure its security, boosting investors' confidence in the country".

Singapore is Indonesia's largest foreign investor and its second-largest trading partner, while Indonesia is the Republic's fourth-largest trading partner, said Dr Balakrishnan. "In terms of tourist numbers, we are the largest source of tourists for each other," he added. "So this is a strong and growing account... but we believe that there are many more opportunities to do even more with Indonesia."

Singapore has several ongoing projects in Indonesia including those in BBK and the Kendal Industrial Park in Semarang, Central Java, which is a joint venture between Singapore's SembCorp Development and Indonesia's Kawasan Industri Jababeka.

He said that Indonesia offers new opportunities for Singapore companies in the infrastructure development and services sectors, as well as the new digital economy.

Dr Balakrishnan also touched on opportunities for cooperation on manpower. Noting that Indonesian institutions of learning will produce many graduates with digital skills, he said "we are thinking of launching a scheme in which Singapore companies which are looking for talent will be able to recruit talent here, deploy them here and provide services for the rest of the world".

Ms Retno, for her part, said Indonesia plans to cooperate with Singapore to raise the standards of its human capital, particularly in the caregiver sector. "Moving forward, Indonesia plans to improve the skill levels of its caregivers."

Both foreign ministers also exchanged views on developments in ASEAN, including the South China Sea disputes and the progress of the ASEAN Economic Community.

They agreed that it would be timely for the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders' Retreat to be held soon.

Dr Balakrishnan, who also met Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama yesterday, will call on President Joko Widodo today before returning to Singapore.

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