Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia gets low marks in ‘human capital’ report

Cambodia gets low marks in ‘human capital’ report

Cambodian men ride a trailer loaded with Buddhist altars for sale on the main road in Seam Reap on August 19. The Kingdom ranks last in the region in educating and training its citizens, according to an annual report by the World Economic Forum.
Cambodian men ride a trailer loaded with Buddhist altars for sale on the main road in Seam Reap on August 19. The Kingdom ranks last in the region in educating and training its citizens, according to an annual report by the World Economic Forum. Roberto Schmidt/AFP

Cambodia gets low marks in ‘human capital’ report

A recent report by the World Economic Forum underscored the Kingdom’s poor performance in educating and training its citizens in order to develop a competitive workforce and put their skills to productive use, ranking it for the first time in its annual review as the worst in Asean.

Cambodia ranked 92nd out of 130 countries in terms of human capital development, up from 100 last year, showing that the country had improved globally but at the same time fell further behind its regional peers, according to the Global Human Capital Report 2017. The ranking puts Cambodia ahead of the Dominican Republic but behind Botswana, which ranked 93rd and 91st, respectively.

Meanwhile, Myanmar, which scored 109th in 2016, improved to a score of 90th this year as Laos also made significant progress, improving from 106th to 84th.

“How nations develop their human capital can be a more important determinant of their long-term success than virtually any other factor,” the report’s authors noted. “[Human capital] can be enhanced over time, growing through use – and depreciating through lack of use – across people’s lifetimes.”

Published annually, the Global Human Capital Report index ranks countries on how well they are developing and deploying their human capital for the demands of a globally competitive economy that is becoming increasing interconnected.

According to the report, the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is affecting all industries, reshaping production and consumption, while adding urgency to nations to upgrade its human capital scores.

“All too often however, human potential is not realised, held back either by inequality or an unrealistic and outdated faith on the part of policymakers that investment in small sub sections of highly skilled labour alone can drive sustainable, inclusive growth,” WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said in the report’s preface.

“Managing this transition towards deeper investment in human potential within the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is one of the most important political, societal, economic and moral challenges we are facing today,” he added.

This year’s report was structured on 21 unique indicators and 44 distinct data points that gauge education and job skill levels as well as economic participation. Cambodia’s ranking improved by eight notches compared with last year, but the country still ranked the worst in the region.

Cambodia’s continually low ranking reflects ongoing deficiencies in the country’s capacity to have a credible education system, with the poorest performance assigned to its 15-24 age bracket, which scored an average 99th out of 130 overall.

On the positive side, Cambodia performed well on the deployment indicator of the report that includes labour force participation, the employment gender gap and the underemployment and unemployed rate, with an overall ranking of fourth best in the world.

MOST VIEWED

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • Singapore Fintech start-up enters Sihanoukville

    Singapore-based fintech start-up Fincy on Wednesday announced the expansion of its cashless payment system to Sihanoukville to tap into the southwestern coastal city’s ever-widening business and investment landscape. The move is in line with the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC’s) recommendations to