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High demand for Chinese speakers

Students practise writing Chinese at Duan Hua School in Phnom Penh in 2014. RUTH KEBER
Students practise writing Chinese at Duan Hua School in Phnom Penh in 2014. Ruth Keber

High demand for Chinese speakers

Chinese language skills are in growing demand from companies looking to hire in Cambodia’s job market as China’s influence in the Kingdom is increasingly felt both in the business and tourism sectors, online job portal Everjobs said yesterday.

Reflecting on trends noted during the firm’s two years of operations in Cambodia, Niels van Klooster, Cambodia country manager for Everjobs, said companies are increasingly looking to recruit Chinese-speaking candidates, though language skill levels in the Kingdom remain low.

“We noticed there are many companies coming from China to the Kingdom, so what we get asked a lot is to look for job seekers that can speak Chinese,” he told reporters. “I think if you can recommend one thing to the students, it would be to pick up languages.”

China’s impact on the economy is set to grow as Cambodia expects to receive 2 million Chinese visitors a year by 2020. China is also the largest investor in the Kingdom, providing $511 million in foreign direct investment last year, a number that is set to grow with Chinese efforts to expand regional trade and connections under the Belt and Road initiative.

According to Van Klooster, banking has been the top hiring industry at Everjobs during the past two years, followed by the hospitality sector and financial services industry.

“The rise of banking and microfinance institutions continues to play a big role here,” he said. “For 2017, we are expecting it to be a hot sector with the arrival of more and more online banking services and mobile banking apps.”

He noted that the education sector was rapidly growing, leading to more demand from job seekers due to the rising number of universities catering to Cambodia’s young population.

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