Kuala Lumpur (ANTARA News) – Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla has proposed the implementation of an ASEAN minimum wage for workers in the ASEAN member countries to ensure equality in the region.
“It is very important to prevent unhealthy competition in ASEAN,” he said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2016 here on Wednesday.
In the forum, Vice President Jusuf Kalla observed that Indonesia has a large number of workers.”There are many workers in shoe and garment production sector. We can compete but they have gone to Cambodia and Vietnam. They make the product in our country at a price of US$15 and sell it in other countries for $100. This is inequality,” he argued.
He urged that ASEAN countries must not force workers to compete on lower wages but must work together to create a minimum standard wage to induce a healthy competition.
“So, the question is not how to make hiring of workers cheaper but how to improve productivity and increase the purchasing power of the people so that economy thrives,” he explained.
Kalla informed that the WEF also discussed the economic gap among countries in the region and ways to boost growth.
“In the forum, we discussed how ASEAN countries should deal with industrial technology revolution and also the needs of the people,” he added.
The WEF on ASEAN 2016 was also attended by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Timor Leste Prime Minister Araujo and Vietnams Deputy Prime Minister Dinh Dong.
Other ASEAN members include Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar.(*)