Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Work permits double in 2018

Work permits double in 2018

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
More than 78,000 Chinese nationals live Preah Sihanouk province but only about 20,000 have work permits, according to a senior Ministry of Interior official. Heng Chivoan

Work permits double in 2018

The number of foreigners issued with Cambodian work permits this year has more than doubled that of last year. The increase was driven by Chinese workers whose contribution alone could generate millions for the Kingdom’s economy each year.

Figures from the General Immigration Department, which comes under the Ministry of Interior showed that from January to August this year, the number of foreigners who registered for work permits had reached 118,280, compared with 57,000 last year.

Department chief Kem Sarin said the huge number of new work permits that were issued was a positive economic indicator and a solid source of revenue. He said the fees that foreigners pay in order to work legally go directly to the government.

However, he said the figures do not include foreigners who are working in Cambodia without registering for a work permit.

“There is still a large number of [foreigners] who are not fulfilling the requirement. In some areas such as along the border, where many casinos operate, there are many foreigners who evade the obligation,” Sarin said.

He said his department “very frequently” sends inspection teams to companies and enterprises with foreign workers to check on work permits.

The department’s data did not break down the nationalities of the 118,280 foreigners who were issued work permits.

To comply with the Kingdom’s labour law, he said, foreign businesses also had to pay fees for their foreign workers. In some cases, this can be $100 per employee for one year with $25 renewals.

As the number of foreigners staying and working in Cambodia increases, the number of Chinese nationals are seen rapidly increasing in the Kingdom in the last two years.

Chinese influx

The ministry’s secretary of state Sok Phal said recently that the number of Chinese nationals living in Cambodia had increased to 210,000, more than double that of last year.

“Of the figure, more than 78,000 are living in Preah Sihanouk [province], but only about 20,000 have work permits,” he told The Post earlier this month.

Centre for Policy Studies director Chan Sophal estimated that Cambodia could generate about $60 million each year from the current number of Chinese nationals if the law on foreign workers was effectively implemented.

Sophal said he came by the $60 million figure by calculating the basic types of permits that foreigners must have to work and live in Cambodia, including visas, work permits and long-stay permits.

“Based on this, the revenue could reach about $60 million per year from the number of Chinese nationals. But does anyone know if the authorities have actually fully enforced the law and fully obtained the revenue?” he asked.

The $60 million estimate is almost equal to the revenue from the Angkor Archaeological Park ticket sales.

According to figures from Angkor Enterprise, which manages the park, the number of visitors to the Kingdom’s landmark tourist site reached nearly 1.4 million for the first six months this year, generating $61.47 million.

MOST VIEWED

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Kingdom, UN discuss rights

    A year after Cambodia received 198 recommendations from UN member countries, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR-Cambodia) met with the Cambodia Human Rights Committee (CHRC) to discuss following-up on the Kingdom’s third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and