Vietnam & Cambodia back Indonesia`s proposal for ASEAN wage standards

Kuala Lumpur (ANTARA News) – Vietnam and Cambodia support Indonesias proposal for minimum wage standards which will be applicable to ASEAN member states, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said.

“Vietnam highly supports my comment on the need for ASEAN member states to prevent ASEAN workers from being exploited,” he said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN here on Thursday.

Kalla said ASEAN manpower ministers will soon hold a meeting to discuss the matter. “All have agreed to it, and so has Cambodia,” he said.

He said he does not want to see multinational companies comparing one ASEAN member state with another in terms of minimum wages.

“Competition is good as long as it does not harm us with regard to pressure on wages because their raw materials and factories are the same,” he said.

He said he will invite the ASEAN secretary general to discuss the matter with Vietnam and Cambodia.

“Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia have many workers. We will likely ask Bangladesh. The minimum wages in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand are already high,” he said.

Addressing the WEF on Wednesday (June 1), the Indonesian vice president called for immediate implementation of ASEAN minimum wage standards.

In this regard, he cited an example that an international scale garment manufacturers have relocated their plants from Indonesia to Cambodia and Vietnam on the grounds that they offer low wages.

WEF on ASEAN held in Kuala Lumpur from June 1 to 2 was attended by a number of heads of state/government from Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Timor Leste.

On the sidelines of the event, Kalla also held talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamad Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Deputy Vietnamese Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, and Secretary General of Amnesty International Salil Shetty.(*)