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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Swiss cookery stirs Cambodia

Swiss cookery stirs Cambodia

Cambodia will ask Switzerland for funds to set up a culinary school that would train local food workers in international cuisine, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has said.

During a trip to Switzerland this week, he hopes to sign a memorandum of understanding with Switzerland that would secure the money needed to establish a training school in the Kingdom.

The move is especially important given the rising number of foreign tourists and local workers’ inability to meet their food preferences.

“We would push Switzerland to help Cambodia in establishing a training school for making food soon because this skill is an important key to serving tourists,” said Thong Khon.

Lou Meng, director of the Cambodian Hotel Association, on Sunday agreed that Cambodia was short human resources in this area and workers were in need of training. He predicted students would require three to five years to complete their studies given the difficulty level and special training that would be involved.

“We hope that under the MOU Cambodian people will obtain training in making” all kinds of international food, he said.

Many restaurants and hotels use cooks from outside of the Kingdom because Cambodians rarely have the skills needed to compete for those jobs, according to a statement from the Cambodian Hotel Association.

Given the Ministry of Tourism expects to see 7 million foreign tourists in 2020, up from 2.5 million last year, as well as the free flow of labour across ASEAN borders expected in 2015, Cambodia must move quickly to meet this demand, said Thong Khon.

“We can’t serve food to foreign tourists if we do not prepare our human resources to serve this sector from now on,” he said.

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