Jakarta. Indonesia should welcome high-skilled foreign workers as these can train local workers and transfer their knowledge, Indonesia's minister for national development planning has said.
"Please don't see foreign workers as a threat. High-skilled foreign workers are assets who could educate local workers and boost national productivity," Minister Sofyan Djalil told the Jakarta Globe on Monday.
"Thousand [of Indonesians] have become professionals because they have worked with expatriates in international banks, oil companies and consultancy, insurance and retail firms," he added.
Sofyan's comments came in the wake of rumors circulating among Indonesian workers that some 10 million Chinese are ready to flock the Indonesian labor market, as China is investing heavily here.
Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri rebuked the rumor, noting that the number of foreign workers in Indonesia is actually declining. As of August, there were 54,953 foreign workers in Indonesia, while there were 68.857 in 2014, just under 72,000 in 2013 and some 77,000 in 2012.
Tens of thousands of workers are to hold a demonstration in Central Jakarta on Tuesday morning amid concerns of the country's slowing economy.