The Jakarta Post
The Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers ( BNP2TKI ) said the realization of overseas remittances by Indonesian migrant workers amounted to Rp 88.6 trillion ( US$7.35 billion ) during the period of January-December 2013, with an assumed exchange rate of Rp 12,000 per dollar.
The amount is greater than the money remitted by foreign workers in the same period of 2012, which reached a total of Rp 67.87 trillion, according to BNP2TKI head Jumhur Hidayat.
Nationally, he said, there were around 6 million migrant workers who contributed significantly to the foreign exchange reserves in Indonesia.
'The money remitted by Indonesian overseas workers in 2013 does not include cash they brought by themselves or entrusted to their colleagues when they returned home,' said Jumhur in Surabaya on Monday, as quoted by Antara news agency. 'It also does not include money they sent through services other than banks,' he went on.
In total, Indonesian migrant workers send around Rp 120 trillion back home every year.
To optimize the use of such a high amount of remittances, Jumhur said the BNP2TKI aimed to empower the 'foreign exchange earners' by initiating various financial education entrepreneurship programs.
'This is in line with the continuous growth of the national economy, especially the domestic business sector,' said Jumhur.