The Jakarta Post
The National Labor Placement and Protection Agency (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 exchange rate assumption of Rp 12,000 per dollar.
The amount is greater than the money remitted by foreign workers in the same period of 2012, which amounted to Rp 67.87 trillion according to BNP2TKI head Jumhur Hidayat.
Nationally, he said, there were around 6 million migrant workers who contributed a great deal to the foreign exchange reserves to Indonesia.
"The money remitted by the 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.
He further said the programs were directed to not only toward the foreign workers but also their families who received the overseas remittance. "This year, we will increase the number of participants empowered through the programs to 32,000," Jumhur said.
Both migrant workers and their families would be equipped with necessary skills they could use to benefit from the remittances received to run their own businesses.
"Through such programs, we're sure that those who used to seek jobs overseas won't have to go back there anymore," said Jumhur. (ebf)
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