Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini remarked that since a few years, the Surabaya city government had taken preparatory measures in the face of the free trade, starting with the granting of free certificates to some workers.
"We have highlighted the significance of a certificate for people to be ready for the free trade era," Rismaharini remarked in Surabaya on Friday.
Free trade will directly impact the trade of goods and services, particularly in Surabaya City.
The Surabaya mayor pointed to challenges posed in the free trade era in the form of declining employment owing to the impact of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the requirement to meet product standardization.
Since 2016, the Surabaya city government had prepared free certificates to enter the ASEAN free trade era.
"We initiated efforts a few years ago, for instance, by offering free fees for certification for masons and electricians as well as other workers, including our brand rights and patents," Rismaharini stated.
In preparation for the coming free trade era, Rismaharini, concurrently president of the United Cities and Local Government of Asia Pacific (UCLG Aspac), reiterated the significance of certification in ushering in the era of global competition.
The Surabaya mayor has called on the public to come out of their comfort zones, as global competition would become stiffer in future.
Rismaharini remarked that workers in Surabaya had expertise in their fields. However, several of them had yet to obtain certificates supporting their work.
"I have to remind the people to be prepared for everything," she noted.
Rismaharini had launched an application counter for intellectual property rights (HKI) at the One-Stop Integrated Services Unit (UPTSA) of Siola Building.
The quota of some 150 free certificates for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have been doled out, and the government will offer more certificates for the management of brand rights or patents to support local MSMEs.
With such a program, MSMEs in Surabaya are expected to be able to compete in the upcoming free trade era.