Bilingual professionals needed for BRI projects in Indonesia

Gracia Anindita Handaruni, an Indonesian student, attends the recruitment fair held by Cirrus Project in Beijing on March 23, 2017. (China Daily/Zhu Xingxin)

China's surging number of Belt and Road Initiative projects in Indonesia has spurred a rising demand for bilingual professionals with bicultural backgrounds, an official said during an event at a Beijing university.

"Currently there are over 1,000 Chinese companies in Indonesia that have already created massive local jobs and are still seeking bicultural professionals," Wang Liping, minister counselor of the embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of Indonesia, said Monday at a Beijing university. Wang made the remarks at a job fair held for Indonesian students at the University of International Business and Economics.

An industry estimate revealed that by April 2019, total investments of projects under China's Belt and Road Initiative have reached $64.6 billion in Indonesia. In 2018 alone, China made about $4.4 billion in investment in Indonesia with a focus on infrastructure, mining, manufacturing, and information technologies.

Such areas are also among the top choices of jobs for Indonesian students, according to Wang.

"We saw the rising need from not only companies, but also Indonesian students who are studying in China but want to get a decent job back in their home country," Wang said.

An industry report estimates that by May 2018, a total of 14,000 Indonesian students were pursuing their education in China, making the country the second-most popular destination of choice.

Although the exact number of Indonesian students who return after overseas studies remains unknown, Wang said the number is huge, considering rising investment to Indonesia from Chinese companies, and the job opportunities they created.

Maria Monica, 23, said she planned to go back to Indonesia once she finishes her studies in UIBE. She is majoring in Chinese.

"I think the opportunities are bigger back home and my family wants me to go back too," she said.

"We also saw the need from Indonesia's government that it is eager to bolster the local job market. So we held this job fair, and are looking forward to seeing more that we can do through communications with them," Wang said.

"Going ahead we are planning a series of events, like a bridge between Indonesian students who are studying in China and Chinese companies that set up branches in Indonesia," Wang added.

Editor: 曹家宁