"Manpower cooperation Indonesia and Thailand are exploring includes industrial relations, manpower supervision, training and migrant workers placement management covering training and best practice sharing," Indonesian minister of manpower M. Hanif Dhakiri said after meeting with his Thai counterpart Gen Surasak Karnjanara here on Wednesday.
Hanif said the meeting also touched on cooperation issues in the maritime and marine sector, cooperation in the fishery product and especially in the protection of marine workers or boat crew members.
As members and founders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Indonesia and Thailand have been important partners and played active roles in various kinds of cooperation under the Asean framework.
"Indonesia and Thailand until now have signed several memorandums of understanding including in the fields of education, law, anti-corruption efforts and trade but no MOU has so far been signed in the field of manpower," Hanif said.
In view of that the two ministers agreed to seriously explore possible cooperation in the field to be put in a memorandum of understanding.
"We also touched on cooperation issues in the maritime and marine sector, cooperation in fishery products and especially protection of marine workers or boat crew members," Hanif said.
He said Indonesia supported the continuation of cooperation between ASEAN members under the social-cultural pillar especially in the manpower sector to meet the ASEAN Community Post 2015.
"We agreed to continue the awareness program and promotion of social protection of workers and development of regional communication network to strengthen social protection, skills introduction and productivity programs in the framework of improving the quality of manpower and facilitating workers with skills and employment opportunities in the current economic globalization," minister Hanif said.
Indonesia and Thailand agreed to keep supporting the implementation of Asean Skills Competition (ASC) as a driver for Asean member countries to continue to improve the development of competency and skills of their young workers.
Closer cooperation among ASEAN member countries is needed because there are still only eight sectors that have been agreed upon for the ASEAN joint skills introduction program and Indonesia hopes that the number could be increased, he said.
Cooperation is also needed to build regional consultation network on manpower supervision, strengthen the capacity of employment market system, build communication in the framework of strengthening regional social dialog with regard to industrial relations especially regarding pay system, social security, working conditions and promoting decent work.
On migrant protection ASEAN is now planning to finalize the instrument for the protection of migrant workers.
"Indonesia hopes the instrument could be implemented consistently by all ASEAN members to cover both documented and undocumented workers and eradicate human trafficking," minister Hanif said.
Gen Surasak Karnjanara expressed support to closer cooperation between Indonesia and Thailand especially in the manpower field.
"Cooperation between the two countries is expected to give a positive impact on management of the manpower sector in the respective countries," he said.
Indonesias diplomatic relations with Thailand has developed since 1950 and the relations have continued to develop especially in the fields of trade, economy, investment and tourism and have been especially strengthened by the establishment of Joint Commission in 1992.
Indonesia and Thailand have been involved in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle regional cooperation and one of the working groups discussing human resource development.
(Reporting by Arie Novarina/Uu.H-YH/R-BSR/A014)