Thailand’s Ministry of Labour warned companies today to ensure that Cambodian workers in Thailand were not “abused” in the workplace as fighting continued on the border, state media said.
Thailand’s state-run news agency reported that ministry spokesman Sutham Nateetong had reminded firms that Cambodian nationals were lawfully employed and all kinds of abuse or hatred were “inappropriate”.
Warning companies not to confuse workers with soldiers on the basis of nationality, the report stated that unregistered migrant workers might become “too afraid to reveal their nationality” and stress might “trigger” Cambodian employees to respond negatively to their employers.
The release came as Thai businessmen working in Cambodia met at Thailand’s Embassy in Phnom Penh this afternoon.
Attendees of the meeting could not be reached for comment by reporters gathered at the site today.
But a Thai official, who preferred to remain nameless, claimed that it was a regular monthly meeting to discuss and exchange ideas on doing business in Cambodia.
Commercial concerns over the ongoing border dispute were also highlight by Cambodian Prime Minster Hun Sen.
During a graduation ceremony at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh, the premier pledged to protect business interests, saying: “We are still continuing our cooperation to all sectors. We don’t want to spread … the dispute to effect trade cooperation.
“They [Thai businessmen] who want to do business or exhibitions in Phnom Penh, please come in. Don’t worry, we will protect the security of investors and diplomats,” he said.
On Sunday, border officials at Poipet said trade and tourist crossings were continuing as normal.
But Thai state media said today that labourers crossing borders in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo, Surin and Sisaket provinces had been affected by gate closures.
Meanwhile, in Bangkok today, the SET Index was in negative territory for most of the day before rising to 0.1 percent up to close at 985.63
Shares in Thai firms which have businesses in Cambodia fell, led by a 1.8 percent loss to 5.5 baht (US$0.18) in shares in satellite firm Thaicom, which runs Cambodian mobile phone provider Mfone, said broker Capital Nomura Securities.
According to figures from the Thai Embassy’s foreign trade promotion office, which were released last week in Phnom Penh, the value of bilateral trade rose to US$2.557 billion in 2010, from $1.658 billion a year earlier – growth of about 54 percent.
Cambodia’s exports to Thailand rose 176 percent year-on-year to $215 million, Thailand’s export increased by around 48 percent to $2.342 billion in 2010. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY REUTERS