Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng said the more than 60,000 Cambodians who are working in South Korea send home an average of $500-$600 million dollars every year, making a significant contribution to the economy.

Samheng was addressing a traditional Khmer New Year celebration, the Great Sangkran in Korea, held in Uijeongbu on April 16. He noted that more than 40,000 Cambodians were working on fixed term migrant worker contracts in South Korea.

“In 2023, because their hard work ethic was noted in the past, Cambodian workers ranked first among foreigners working in South Korea. The Korean government has promised to increase the number of workers by 10,000 or more, which is great news for all Cambodians,” he said.

He highlighted the excellent remuneration that Cambodian workers could expect while working in South Korea, but noted that the positions that were available were skilled ones, meaning training was necessary for many roles.

“The upside is that they will acquire new skills which will enable them to secure good work upon their return to Cambodia. Of course, many people use the skills they have gained – and the money they have saved – to launch their own businesses in Cambodia,” he said.

According to Samheng, the Cambodian government has steadily improved its relations with South Korea since 1997, resulting in excellent cooperation.

“Apart from strengthening political and socio-economic cooperation, Prime Minister Hun Sen has always paid close attention to securing job opportunities for Cambodians in South Korea,” he said.

An Bunhak, president of the Manpower Association of Cambodia, said on April 17 that most Cambodians are very interested in working in Korea because the country pays migrant workers more than most nations.

“A lot of Cambodian workers start their own businesses after returning from Korea, especially those in agriculture, as they learnt to grow vegetables in a modern way. They use the knowledge, skills and experience they gained from working and learning in Korea. In addition, their incomes contribute to the economic development of their families, and society as well,” he added.

Bunhak said that Cambodians who go to work in South Korea generally earn a lot of money and gain valuable work experience.