The World Bank Urges Cambodia to Redirect its Job Policy

PHNOM PENH--Cambodian policymakers should consider developing a new job market-based strategy to create more opportunities with standard for the future of Cambodian people, according to the World Bank report “Cambodia’s Future Jobs: Linking to the Economy of Tomorrow” that was released Tuesday. 


“Global trends, such as the growing Asian middle class, shifting trade patterns, and automation, require that Cambodia re-think its jobs strategy as it advances to the next stage of export-led development,” the report read. "Cambodian policymakers will need to make significant new

investments to turn Cambodia into a modern and dynamic destination for new and higher-value FDI [Foreign Direct Investment], and they will need to leverage this FDI to stimulate the growth of the domestic private sector."


The World Bank added that Cambodia’s job growth has so far been based on low-knowledge jobs. However, its occupational profile is showing signs of becoming more knowledge-intensive.   


“The diversity and quality of jobs in Cambodia has gradually improved,” said Inguna Dobraja, World Bank country manager for Cambodia in a press release Tuesday. “But global trends, such as the growing Asian middle class, shifting trade patterns, and automation require that Cambodia re-think its jobs strategy as it advances to the next stage of export-led development.”


The World Bank researchers found that around 80 percent of Cambodian adults aged 15 or older have jobs. However, at least two out of three people work in low-paying jobs in farming or family businesses. "Cambodia will have to implement significant changes to respond to these trends and guarantee a better jobs future,” the report read.


In its recommendations to the Cambodian government, the World Bank said that it should focus on four core issues in its jobs strategy: that Cambodia diversifies its exports and local investment and that the FDI-sectors improves the productivity of household enterprises and forest management enterprises. Plus workers will need better education and training opportunities to be able to contribute to and benefit from the changes in the Cambodian economy.


“The success of Cambodia’s job strategy will depend on the participation and cooperation of stakeholders across the economy, not only policy makers and government leaders, but also entrepreneurs, investors, development partners, and, of course, workers themselves,” said Wendy Cunningham, lead economist and a lead author of the report.




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