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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        17  May 2011

Indonesia to lower unemployment rate

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The Indonesian government has set itself the target of reducing the unemployment rate to 5 percent by 2014, Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar said here on Monday.

"According to the National Central Statistics Agency, Indonesia currently has 8.32 million unemployed citizens or about 7.12 percent of the population. The number has decreased compared to last year when the figure was 7.33 percent," said the minister during his visit to Al Islah Islamic boarding school in Bondowoso.

Muhaimin said his ministry would work hard to realize the goal to reduce the unemployment rate in Indonesia. He also asked all parties including educational institutions to support the government`s effort.

Based on the National Statistics Agency data of August 2010 of the country`s 8.32 million unemployed 2.07 millions are elementary school leavers, 1.53 million junior high, 1.89 million senior high, 1.05 senior high vocational school leavers and 0.38 million diploma program and 0.63 million university graduates.

One of the manpower problems being faced in Indonesia was that the system of education was not yet linked and matched with manpower markets so that only a limited number of university graduates could immediately work.

Therefore, he called on all schools in Indonesia to develop a training program that matches local need for human resources. In that way, he said, unemployment rate might be reduced.

Earlier, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated the government had set itself the target of reducing the unemployment rate by 0.5 percent from 7.5 percent in 2010 to 7 percent in 2011 alone.

Besides reducing the unemployment rate, President Yudhoyono said the government would also reduce the poverty rate from 13 percent to about 12.5 or 11.5 percent this year.

"That is our target, to achieve it we should certainly have financial resources in our state budget," the president said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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