Phnom Penh: The Cambodian government is to revoke an order on permitted and banned jobs issued to foreigners more than a month ago.
According to a notice issued by Labor Minister on the 5th, the government decided to revoke the previous decision to ban foreigners from engaging in certain industries. Foreigners will be free to engage in any industry in Cambodia, including self-employment.
He explained that the decision was made because Cambodia needed foreigners’ expertise and technology in the service sector, and also considered the investment environment in Cambodia.
“Based on this, the Ministry of Labor decided to resume allowing foreigners to engage in any industry.”
He hopes that people, businesses, institutions and self-employed foreigners will pay attention to the above decisions issued by the Ministry of Labor.
Previously banned jobs are mostly effected the self-employed
The Ministry of Labor issued a circular in August prohibiting foreigners from engaging in more than 10 industries in Cambodia, including industries that are mostly self-employed (self-employed), such as taxis and tuk-tuk drivers, hairdressers, beauticians, street vendors, hawkers and small traders, etc.
Other banned industries include tailoring, car and tire repair, traditional Khmer craftsmen and goldsmiths.
The Ministry of Labor was emulating the neighboring countries such as Thailand and some countries to establish a “ban” for foreigners in certain jobs to protect the interests of their people.
Political commentators believe that the Cambodian economy is highly dependent on the “informal economy”. More than half of the country’s workforce is in “informal economy” services, including street vendors and tuk-tuk drivers. There are fears that foreigners could take these livlihoods from locals.
According to the latest economic census in Cambodia. There are a total of 5,500,134 commercial organizations across the country, of which nearly 80% are self-employed or only have one employee, 10% of commercial organizations have less than 10 emplyees.
There are only 786 companies with more than 100 employees and only 119 companies with more than 1,000 employees.
The order issued by the Ministry of Labor has also caused problems for some local companies and foreign employers, especially for service industries, as it is often difficult to hire local employees who meet the service requirements.