Turkey, Asia - Pacific

Turkey, Indonesia sign MoU on social sectors

2 countries also agreed to send their senior officials to study welfare programs in both countries

Erric Permana   | 22.07.2019
Turkey, Indonesia sign MoU on social sectors


Indonesia and Turkey on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding in Jakarta to cooperate in social rehabilitation, social security, disaster management, and welfare programs.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Turkish Minister of Family, Labor and Social Services Zehra Zumrut Selcuk and Indonesian Social Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita during Selcuk’s three-day visit to Indonesia.

During the bilateral meeting, Kartasasmita said Turkey showed its interest in studying Indonesia's social programs, one of which was the Hope Family Program (PKH) which has succeeded in reducing poverty.

"We want to learn about the success story of the PKH program. We heard that Indonesia has succeeded in reducing poverty, which is something we really respect,” he added.

The ministers also agreed to send their senior officials to study welfare programs in both countries.

The two countries also agreed to cooperate on health insurance systems to strengthen the mechanism of domestic social organizations.

Cooperation in health insurance system

Separately, Indonesian Social Security Organizing Agency for Healthcare (BPJS) and Turkish health insurance agency Sosyal Guvenlik Kurumu (SGK) also signed an agreement on Monday to exchange expertise with an aim to further improve the service system.

BPJS President Director Fahmi Idris said the BPJS has been collaborating with various foreign institutions to exchange expertise.

Bayu Wahyudi, the agency’s director of Legal Compliance and Inter-Institutional Relations, acknowledged that BPJS was interested in studying the health insurance service system of SGK.

“Because, culturally, Turkish and Indonesia society has many similarities in terms of health insurance,” Wahyudi said.

For his part, SGK’s head Mehmet Selim Bagli said the MoU would help the two countries accelerate their cooperation on providing health insurance services to their people.

Strengthening labor cooperation

Indonesia and Turkey have also agreed to strengthen bilateral labor cooperation by renewing a memorandum of understanding which ended in 2013.

Indonesian Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri said the step was a follow-up to Indonesian President Joko Widodo's recent bilateral meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

"The purpose of the courtesy call is to discuss the cooperation with the Turkish government, especially the re-discussion of the MoU that has ended," Minister Dhakiri told reporters after a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Family, Employment and Social Services Zehra Zumrut Selcuk.

He added that the renewal of the MoU was important in order to expand cooperation on labor issues that had not been included in the scope of collaboration in the earlier MoU.

Hanif outlined several areas of cooperation to have been discussed, including related to vocational training, social security for migrant workers, employment research, and increasing efforts to achieve decent work.

"In a recent bilateral meeting between Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Widodo, the two leaders agreed on labor cooperation in technical level possible," said Minister Dhakiri.

According to the business sector data from 2017 to June 2019, there are 2,473 Indonesian migrant workers in Turkey.

"The establishment of this cooperation is an effort of the government of the Republic of Indonesia in order to expand the placement of skilled Indonesian workers in the formal sector so that Indonesian migrant workers can enter the labor market in the European region," Minister Dhakiri uttered.

Dhakiri said his Turkish counterpart appreciated the performance of the Indonesian government in reducing unemployment in Indonesia.

The minister added that the Indonesian government also facilitates digital economics by providing tax facilities, banking, and others so that e-commerce that is so rapidly growing can absorb labor.

Minister Dhakiri also asked Minister Zehra to jointly voice the importance of youth empowerment which would become a large group in the Indonesian population through vocational training and increased opportunities to enter the workforce.

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