Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t backtracks on ban on self-employed foreigners



Gov’t backtracks on ban on self-employed foreigners

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Chinese-owned businesses in Chamkar Morn district’s Tonle Bassac commune. Hean Rangsey

Gov’t backtracks on ban on self-employed foreigners

Foreigners will again be allowed to be self-employed in a bid to attract skills and investment to the Kingdom, after a ban on them running small businesses that could affect the livelihoods of Cambodians was proposed in August.

An announcement by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training obtained by The Post on Sunday said foreigners will be allowed to be self-employed as Cambodia needed technical skills in the service sector and to attract investment.

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached for comment. Government spokesman Phay Siphan declined to comment on Sunday.

Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA) president Vorn Pov said he was disappointed with the decision to allow foreigners to run small businesses despite it being a way to attract foreign investment to Cambodia.

He said he supported ideas to attract and motivate foreigners to invest in major businesses or companies in Cambodia.

However, he does not welcome foreigners who run small businesses such as selling snacks, selling porridge and bread, running taxi and vehicle repair services or other jobs in the informal economy, Pov said.

“We support having large foreign companies and garment factories investing in Cambodia. We certainly approve of attracting skills.

“But we do not welcome foreigners working as food vendors, drivers or in vehicle repairs, offering massage services or selling souvenirs because Cambodians can do all these jobs.

“We urge the government to take this into consideration because this decision could affect the livelihoods of Cambodians running such small businesses,” Pov said.

The exact number of foreigners working in the informal economic sector is unknown. However, Pov said the majority of foreigners ran businesses in the informal economy in Phnom Penh, Bavet town in Svay Rieng province and Poipet town in Banteay Meanchey, as well as Preah Sihanouk province.

On August 28, the ministry released an announcement about the ban on jobs and work for foreigners in Cambodia.

Article two of the announcement said foreigners should be banned from jobs and business works such as drivers, massage service providers, hairdressers, tailors, bicycle repairers, and other small businesses.

“The ministry will not provide validity to foreigners who are working or running a business in the fields mentioned in Article two of the announcement. Those who act on the contrary will be fined or punished in accordance with the Labour Law,” said the announcement.

According to the announcement, a self-employed person refers to any individual who works or runs his own business for profit instead of earning wages or salary from employers.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there