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Joko Widodo thanks Taiwan for treating Indonesian workers kindly

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo has thanked Taiwan for its friendly treatment of Indonesian workers in Taiwan and urged Taiwanese to visit and invest in his country.

In an interview with CNA in Jakarta on Friday, Joko, who is set to take office on Oct. 20 after winning the July 9 presidential election with 53.15 percent of the ballots, expressed his gratitude to Taiwan for its support for Indonesian workers.

Noting that more than 70 percent of Taiwan's 199,971 Indonesian workers, accounting for 44 percent of Taiwan's 454,171 foreign laborers, voted for him, Joko urged Indonesian workers to follow Taiwan's laws and respect local customs, adding that he hoped he could one day meet with Indonesian workers in Taiwan.

He noted that so many Indonesian workers are employed in Taiwan, which indicates that Taiwan offers attractive wages. Further, if Taiwan needs more workers, he would recommend that his fellow countrymen seek employment in Taiwan, noting, “This is the basis for our (Indonesian and Taiwan's) cooperation.”

He also prodded the Taiwanese, who invested more than US$400 million in Indonesia in 2013, to continue investing more in his country.

Additionally, he praised Taiwan's solid foundation in its manufacturing industry, saying that Indonesia will improve its infrastructure and government efficiency to attract Taiwanese investment.

Joko, who is governor of Jakarta, said he has invited Taiwan business tycoon Terry Gou, who committed to invest more than US$1 billion in Jakarta over five years, to attend his inauguration.

The president-elect also invited the Taiwanese people to visit his country. Besides Bali, which is already popular with Taiwan visitors, he recommended Raja Ampat, Manado, and Bunaken as worthwhile places for tourists to visit.

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Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo gestures during an interview with the CNA in Jakarta on Friday. (CNA)

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