Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Monday praised the government’s efforts to increase monthly minimum wage for the garment and footwear sector.
Speaking at a university graduation ceremony here, the prime minister said from Jan. 1, 2017 onward, the monthly minimum wage for the country’s multibillion-U.S.-dollar garment and footwear sector would be increased to 153 U.S. dollars, up 9.2 percent from the current 140 U.S. dollars.
“With other fringe benefits, (Cambodian) workers can earn 170 U.S. dollars to 180 U.S. dollars per month,” he said.
Meanwhile, the prime minister called on the workers to maintain their existing jobs, as some factories here might move to Myanmar, Laos, or Bangladesh, where labor cost was far cheaper than that of Cambodia.
He said strengthening skills and expertise for the workers was crucial to increase productivity and quality of products as well as to attract new investors.
The Southeast Asian country exported garment and footwear items worth about 6.5 billion U.S. dollars last year, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the country’s total exports.
The sector is comprised of some 1,000 factories, employing approximately 750,000 workers.