Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng said Cambodia has a clear strategic plan for the development of the garment, footwear and travel goods industries, and already has mechanisms in place to deal with any labour issues.

Samheng said this during a meeting with the All Win Shoes (Cambodia) Co Ltd board director, whose name was transliterated into Khmer as Hou Chhav Huy – most likely Hu Chaohui.

During the meeting, Hu told Samheng that, due to the political crisis in Myanmar, an affiliate Chinese-owned shoe factory currently based in the westernmost ASEAN country is planned to be relocated to Cambodia.

“The decision to relocate the factory to Cambodia is because the Kingdom is at peace, has political stability, rapid development, as well as many other policies that encourage investors to come to Cambodia,” he said.

The board chairman was there to seek support for the establishment of the shoe factory, which will be located in Samrong Tong commune and district of Kampong Speu province and is scheduled to begin operations in June.

Samheng thanked Hu for having confidence in Cambodia, saying that the Kingdom welcomes all investors who bring capital and jobs to the economy.

Cambodia also has good access to overseas markets for garments, footwear and travel goods, such as the EU, US and Japan, the minister added.

“We can maintain access to all of these major markets because Cambodia has implemented a trade policy linked to good working conditions, ensuring the sustainability of orders from the world’s major brands,” he said.

He said Cambodia also has free trade cooperation and agreements with many partners, along with a youthful workforce. Prime Minister Hun Sen recently instructed the labour ministry to provide vocational training to workers in order to meet the need of companies, factories and enterprises now and in the future, he noted.

“Cambodia has a very clear strategic plan for the development of these sectors. In case some problems occur, we have mechanisms to solve those problems. We also request that companies respect Cambodia’s laws, especially the Law on Labour, Law on National Social Security Fund [NSSF], Law on Trade Unions and the International Labour Organisation’s [ILO] ‘Better Factories Cambodia’ [ILO-BFC] programme and other labour-related regulations,” Samheng said.

Hu told the minister that the company will employ almost 1,000 workers to produce up to 700,000 pairs of shoes per month for export, mainly to the EU and US.

During the celebration of the 112th International Women’s Day, Hun Sen noted that while approximately 32,000 workers at 71 factories across Kampong Speu have lost their jobs due to closures – amid declining orders – an influx of new plants has resulted in a shortage of about 30,000 workers in the province.