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Scaring Off Investors?

Indonesia to Make Local Language Fluency Mandatory?

(12/30/2002) Indonesia's Minister of Manpower, Jacob Nuwa Wea, recently declared his intention to make fluency in the Indonesian language a prerequisite for expatriates seeking formal permission to work in Indonesia.

Although still a proposal at this point, the Minister has pledged to soon bring his suggestion for consideration at a Cabinet level meeting with the President. Minister Jacob has said that were a regulation introduced into law, it would improve communications between the Indonesian workforce and management where expatriates are employed.

Some busines circles have publicly expressed the concern that the latest pronouncement by the Country's Labor and Manpower Minister will only worsen Indonesia's already gloomy foreign investment prospects.