Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, conversation with workers in Samaki Meanchey district, Kampong Chhnang province – Day-1 [Unofficial Translation]

CNV:

(1) Making the care of workers an obligation for the highest responsible person

[…] I think in the future we must have it bound to be the duty of Cambodia’s highest authority to take care of workers. Why did I say that? The contribution of industry in our GDP covers up to 38% […] compared to agriculture and services, industrial share is the biggest of all […] the service sector will increase its share as tourism (increases). However, we will continue to expand industrial policy […] tackle employment by boosting the industry, whether the industry we are working in today is a labor-intensive industry or a processing industry that produces from local raw materials […]

(2) National Road No. 5 becomes a highway ready to attract investment

Both participants from Phnom Penh and workers here can all be interested in one point. In 2018, when we met, the National Road 5 was small. Now, at least you come to the factories in a better road because the NR 5 has become a (highway) connecting Phnom Penh to the Cambodian-Thai border […] the Japanese financing has improved (the NR 5) from Prek Kadam (the section between Phnom Penh and Prek Kadam is financed by the People’s Republic of China) through Kampong Chhnang province to Pursat. From Pursat to Battambang is also financed by Japan, and to the Cambodian-Thai border. You can understand this activity. Economists and people can understand that this is a preparation of the base to attract more investment to the provinces, one of the goals of the promotion (investment) […]

(3) February 1999, the deployment of factories in the provinces, the vision of the CPP led Royal Government

If I am not mistaken, in February 1999, the first forum between the government and the private sector was held. I chaired the meeting. At that time, we made a recommendation that […] it is not possible to assemble factories only in Phnom Penh. We need to set up factories in the provinces. It has now served our purpose. Therefore, you can understand that the vision of the Royal Government is not a quick and dirty one. The Royal Government, led by the Cambodian People’s Party, is not formulating a quick and dirty policy and/or promising high salaries (on an ad hoc basis). But there is a proper vision arrangement. So far, there are 173 factories/enterprises in Kampong Chhnang province with more than 50,000 workers. Secondly, decentralizing the factories/enterprises to provinces make it easier for workers to find jobs on the spot (and close to home) […]

(4) Maintains macroeconomic stability, curbs inflation, maintains purchasing power

What has happened in the past in some countries, Cambodia included, was that the civil servants and the armed forces did not have their salaries increases in 2021, 2022 […] and they just have their increases in 2023. However, big or small, the workers have had their increases every year. In addition, the Royal Government has made efforts to maintain macroeconomic stability, curb inflation, and maintain the people’s purchasing power […] firstly, efforts are made to control inflation, especially the price of daily necessities, such as rice, meat, vegetables, […] making sure to keep it from going up in price. If it rises, do not let it rise beyond control. Secondly, workers do not lose their purchasing power because of the exchange rate that is issued through the bank and they had to be paid in the national currency […] we continue to build the necessary infrastructure, better investment environment to attract investment to create more jobs for workers and other unemployed people […]

(5) Extremist oppositions tell foreigners not to invest, not to buy goods and to impose sanctions on Cambodia

Workers must dare to point out at any opposition groups that teel foreigners not to invest in Cambodia, not to buy Cambodian goods. You should point fingers at their faces – “you are destroying us, no one else but you.” In other countries, there are also oppositions, but they never demand foreigners to stop buying goods from their country or prevent other countries from providing aid. But extremist opposition groups in Cambodia are telling foreigners not to invest in Cambodia, not to buy goods from Cambodia, and to impose further sanctions on Cambodia. So those people are the enemies of the workers […] from the month of August (this year) […] female workers will enjoy increasing benefits for their maternity – from conception to delivery, and postpartum until the baby turns to two years of age. The day before, according to my rough calculation, they would receive a sum of 1.52 million Riel, which is about 380 USD […] this indicates our care and concern for the well-being of mothers and babies. We are working to reduce maternal mortality, especially in infants. Not only that, we want better nutrition for the next generation with specific health programs […]

(6) Thai Kao Klai Party: There will be no expulsion of Cambodian workers

I would like to share with you the information we have received from the Kingdom of Thailand. Earlier, I expressed concern regarding this party “Moving Forward” – on hearing the words “they will expel Laotian and Cambodian workers from Thailand,” (should they got their government up and running). Yesterday there was a definite confirmation that that was the case. They will facilitate even more. If so, we no longer have to worry about the departure of workers working in Thailand. I had to have concern about this should there be a dismissal or loss of benefits to workers abroad. I thank the Thai Kao Klai party for confirming. I received the news yesterday with the explanation that there will be no problems. Cambodia accepts this interpretation and hopes that the cooperation in the field related to migrant workers, which is a compromise agreement within the ASEAN framework, will be protected and addressed. There are also foreign workers in Cambodia, and Cambodia must take care of their well-being […]

(7) Products not only for domestic consumption but exports

The Cambodian production are meeting not only domestic demand but also export. This evening I will meet with the Minister of Commerce of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and we will sign a trade agreement […] the United Arab Emirates […] is the distribution center. They can come and set up factories in Cambodia for production like cashew […] we have a free trade agreement with China, through which the volume of trade exported from Cambodia to China increased – fish, mango, longans, bananas, and other agricultural products, that previously we did not have a market. The trade agreements with China have opened the market. We sign a free trade agreement with South Korea, and it has opened the market for us. Now that we have an agreement with the United Arab Emirates, the market is open too. Although we do not have a trade agreement with Japan, Japan buys more and more goods from Cambodia, up to more than 1 billion dollars, exported from Cambodia to Japan […]

(8) Each attracts investment for own province

Each must aim to attract investment to own province. As in the past, the (governor) of Kampong Speu attracted investors from Hong Kong. Pursat province got American Ford company and some other factories. Kampong Chhnang has its own mechanism. That is not enough. Let us expand it further. We now have better road. They will find it a plus for their investment. The roads are not only for traveling but also transporting goods. In the future, the connectivity will be easier to transport from here to Kampong Som port, as we do not need to go through Phnom Penh […]

(9) Cambodia smoke-free campaign moving forward

A good situation has happened in our country. The number of smokers is declining. Some say that selling cigarettes is not a good business anymore. The tax department says cigarette tax revenue is declining. The trend of our country’s smoke-free campaign is moving forward, including myself […]

(10) A new government may be formed by the end of August […] The new Cambodian government is expected to come into being by the end of August. In 2018, we voted on July 29 and it took us till September 5 to form the Royal Government. This time, the election date will be on 23 (July) instead of 29. If there is no re-election anywhere, the National Election Committee, the Constitutional Council, the National Election Committee will announce the official results and the elected candidates, whereas HM the King will be able to convene the first session of the National Assembly […] on 30 (August or) 31 (August) and … the most senior member of the National Assembly will start the process of forming the National Assembly leadership and the formation of the Royal Government can start […]./.

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