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NEWS UPDATES 1 September 2009

Indonesia receives 100 trillion rupiah from overseas workers

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Some six million Indonesian migrant workers abroad are sending a total of about 100 trillion rupiah (1$=10,110 rupiah) home a year, making them the country`s second largest foreign exchange earner after oil and gas, state news agency Antara reported, quoting a manpower official.

"That much of money reaches home partly through banks, and partly when the workers return home," Jumhur Hidayat, head of the National Agency for the Placement and Protection of Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI), said.

Speaking in a dialog with members of a manpower recruitment community, he said migrant workers were doing a great service to their country because they helped to reduce unemployment, each of them was providing a living for an average of five family members, and having a "multiplier effect" on regional development.

Their remittances were creating bases for the growth of entrepreneurship in their places of birth or origin.

"Therefore, they deserve to be called one of the country`s prime earners of foreign exchange. Their annual monetary contibutions combined are second only to the country`s earnings from oil and gas exports," Hidayat said.

Consequently, according to Hidayat, the government and all parties concerned should treat migrant workers with high respect, from the time they depart, while they are working abroad until they return home.

"The services to and protection of migrant workers should not only be good but excellent," Hidayat said.


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