Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced his intention to visit workers in 18 target locations, in order to assess how their lives are improving during the post-Covid-19 recovery period.

He mentioned his plans during the May 23 inauguration of the multi-purpose Techo Aphivadh building – a specialist unit – at Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh.

“For three consecutive days this week – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – I will meet with hard-working Cambodians, so I can hear from them personally,” he said.

“In my previous 77 meetings, I estimate that I have met with one million workers. On May 22, I addressed more than 24,000 of them, and the upcoming meetings will each include more 15,000 participants. Due to the pandemic, the regular meetings were disrupted, and even now we all need to take precautions, so I regret that I cannot shake hands with you all,” he added.

During the May 22 meeting, he stressed that his visits were not related to the upcoming national election, but part of the duty of his party-led government to understand the wellbeing of its constituents.

“We have an obligation to meet with the people in the post-Covid period. I have made time for these meetings, because I need to distribute money to pregnant women – and take the opportunity to share some selfies with workers,” he added.

According to Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng, regular meetings with the workers are important as they help contribute to the development of policies that improve investment, employment conditions and the economy.

“Through his regular visits, Hun Sen has offered at least 10 recommendations that facilitated a better investment environment and provided benefits and social protection to workers. The labour ministry has cooperated with all of the relevant state institutions to successfully implement all of his recommendations,” he said.

Samheng described the labour market in Cambodia as exceedingly strong, with an estimated employment rate of 99.3 per cent of the total labour force of approximately 10.8 million.

There are currently 17,102 manufacturing enterprises registered with the labour ministry, with a total of more than 1.5 million employees.