REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Indonesia and South Korea are seeking to enhance cooperation to provide better protection to overseas citizens of both countries during the first meeting of the High Working Level Strategic Dialogue (HWLSD) held here on Monday. "There are as many as 40,000 Indonesian citizens in Korea. We hope they would be given adequate protection, although we know that Korea has applied good regulations on such protection," Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs A.M. Fachir stated after the meeting of the HWLSD organized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Pancasila Building here on Monday.
Fachir and South Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lim Sung-nam co-chaired the first meeting of the HWLSD between the two countries. Fachir expressed hope that some standards for the protection of overseas citizens would be put in place. "For instance, there are some citizens facing a problem. It would be the responsibility of the recipient country to report it to our representatives," Fachir noted.
Even as South Korea is applying a quota for foreign workers, Indonesia is seeking to open more job opportunities for Indonesian laborers in several fields, such as caretaking, hospitality, and tourism, in South Korea. "We have a common interest. We have our citizens there, and they have theirs in our country. Hence, it is our obligation to protect them," Fachir remarked.
During the meeting, representatives of the two countries also discussed several agenda items of bilateral cooperation in the areas, including defense, trade and investment, maritime affairs, social and cultural, as well as consular and labor. The first HWLSD has identified strategic cooperation, which will be executed through a bilateral arrangement.
The first HWLSD was also attended by representatives of the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Commerce, Investment Coordinating Board, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs The second meeting of the HWLSD will be held in Korea in 2019.