Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t backtracks on ban on self-employed foreigners

Gov’t backtracks on ban on self-employed foreigners

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Chinese-owned businesses in Chamkar Morn district’s Tonle Bassac commune. Hean Rangsey

Gov’t backtracks on ban on self-employed foreigners

Foreigners will again be allowed to be self-employed in a bid to attract skills and investment to the Kingdom, after a ban on them running small businesses that could affect the livelihoods of Cambodians was proposed in August.

An announcement by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training obtained by The Post on Sunday said foreigners will be allowed to be self-employed as Cambodia needed technical skills in the service sector and to attract investment.

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached for comment. Government spokesman Phay Siphan declined to comment on Sunday.

Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA) president Vorn Pov said he was disappointed with the decision to allow foreigners to run small businesses despite it being a way to attract foreign investment to Cambodia.

He said he supported ideas to attract and motivate foreigners to invest in major businesses or companies in Cambodia.

However, he does not welcome foreigners who run small businesses such as selling snacks, selling porridge and bread, running taxi and vehicle repair services or other jobs in the informal economy, Pov said.

“We support having large foreign companies and garment factories investing in Cambodia. We certainly approve of attracting skills.

“But we do not welcome foreigners working as food vendors, drivers or in vehicle repairs, offering massage services or selling souvenirs because Cambodians can do all these jobs.

“We urge the government to take this into consideration because this decision could affect the livelihoods of Cambodians running such small businesses,” Pov said.

The exact number of foreigners working in the informal economic sector is unknown. However, Pov said the majority of foreigners ran businesses in the informal economy in Phnom Penh, Bavet town in Svay Rieng province and Poipet town in Banteay Meanchey, as well as Preah Sihanouk province.

On August 28, the ministry released an announcement about the ban on jobs and work for foreigners in Cambodia.

Article two of the announcement said foreigners should be banned from jobs and business works such as drivers, massage service providers, hairdressers, tailors, bicycle repairers, and other small businesses.

“The ministry will not provide validity to foreigners who are working or running a business in the fields mentioned in Article two of the announcement. Those who act on the contrary will be fined or punished in accordance with the Labour Law,” said the announcement.

According to the announcement, a self-employed person refers to any individual who works or runs his own business for profit instead of earning wages or salary from employers.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • Gov’t slams UN rapporteurs over Sokha trial statement

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva deplored the statement of three UN special rapporteurs who claimed that Kem Sokha’s trial was “tainted” due to irregularities. The reaction

  • No power shortages next dry season, says energy minister

    Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem has assured the public that Cambodia will not suffer power shortages during the next dry season. Speaking on local TV on Tuesday, Sem projected a rise in power demand during 2020’s dry season – which starts in November and

  • Gov’t takes steps to lower logistics, transport costs

    With the threat of losing trade privileges in the EU drawing closer, the government is taking measures to reduce logistics and transportation costs to safeguard the Kingdom’s competitiveness. The EU is due to decide whether or not to withdraw the Kingdom’s trade privileges