Cambodia and Bangladesh have committed to strengthening labour agreements between the two countries to manage the migration of workers, share labour recruitment information and combat labour exploitation.
The commitment was made between labour minister Ith Samheng and Mohammed Abdul Hye, the Bangladeshi ambassador with residence in Thailand, on May 31.
Samheng said Cambodia and Bangladesh have had a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which covers the labour and vocational training sector in place since 2017. A working group had worked closely in the spirit of the MoU until their progress was interrupted two years ago by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The labour markets in the two countries are similar. Both countries produce and export garments, so both sides can share experiences and exchange information on the labour and vocational training sector,” Samheng was quoted as saying.
The minister told the ambassador that there are currently about 400 Bangladeshi nationals who hold work permits in Cambodia. They have a healthcare programme, as well as occupational risk coverage by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), just as Cambodian nationals do.
He said that although working conditions in Cambodia are linked to its exports – a correlation that could play into the hands of investors – the Kingdom’s rising wages, while a boon to the livelihoods of workers, present a conundrum for employers.
Samheng praised Bangladesh for their technical training and their progress on agricultural techniques, another area in which he had requested Bangladeshi help.
According to the ministry, the ambassador expressed his appreciation for Cambodia’s cooperation in the labour and training field, as the two nations renewed their MoU.
He said that during his visit to Cambodia, he had met Bangladeshi nationals who worked in many different areas, including service, construction, hospitality and banking. They had all received strong support from the Cambodian government, which allowed them to open businesses.
Cambodia signed the labour-related MoU with Bangladesh on December 4, 2017. The MoU is effective for five years.