Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng on Monday urged the private sector to maintain good relations with the government to boost social and sustainable economic development in Cambodia.

His comments were made at the Annual Government-Private Sector Forum held at a hotel in Phnom Penh.

In a Facebook post, Sam Heng said: “Our achievements so far reflect our spirit of responsibility, efforts and commitment to promoting labour, vocational training, and effective and efficient government-private sector partnership.

“We [the government and the private sector] share the goal of achieving social and sustainable economic development.”

He said social dialogue and close tripartite cooperation among employers, employees, and the government had led to the simultaneous decrease of work disputes and promotion of harmonious work relationships in the Kingdom.

The government-private sector cooperation supported the government’s reform programme, Rectangular Strategy and national policies on occupation, vocational training, industrial development and the social protection scheme, Sam Heng said.

He acknowledged the private sector’s commitment to respecting the Kingdom’s standards and laws on labour, trade unions, social protection and the minimum wage.

Sam Heng also expressed appreciation to the Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations (Camfeba) for its contribution to the ministry in developing strategic action plans and programmes for decent employment.

“The ministry is ready to continue its cooperation with Camfeba to elevate Cambodia’s competitiveness on the international stage and achieve agendas of becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2023 and a high-income country by 2025,” said Sam Heng.

Ministry spokesman Heng Sour declined to comment and referred reporters to Sam Heng’s post instead.

Cambodian Entrepreneurs Association president Im Sinat said his association had worked closely with the government, especially with the Ministry of Commerce, which expanded his organisation in terms of human resource training and trade relations overseas.

“In general, the government helps us in human resource training, finding trade partners and properly implementing legal requirements and policies.

“Previously, implementation was not smooth, but it is now. For example, we now offer online business registration, which requires fewer documents. We still need further assistance from the government to help with business sustainability,” said Sina.