Jokowi's invitation to invest undermined by red tape

New barriers include local language proficiency for foreigners seeking jobs

Published Wed, Feb 18, 2015 · 09:50 PM


AN ENGLISH degree, a teaching certificate, five years of experience and an HIV test from your country of origin. That's all you need to get a job with a starting salary of US$1,200 a month in Indonesia.

With native-language English teachers needing to fulfil a laundry list of requirements to get a work permit, commercial schools are short of teachers.

"These are the most stringent conditions that are applied for English teachers in the world, hands down," said Nina Wexler, an American who owns two schools in the city of Solo. "Out of 100 applicants, maybe five qualify. And chances are they will end up taking higher-paid jobs in other countries."

The government is still raising new barriers, including a plan to require proficiency in Indonesian from foreigners seeking employment in the country. Red tape, corruption and complicated rules that are often contradictory continue to discourage foreign investment and run counter to President Joko …

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