PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has agreed to allow more Cambodians to work in the country, especially as domestic maids.
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said visiting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen conveyed Cambodia’s interest to send more Cambodian workers to Malaysia at their bilateral talks here today.
“Cambodia has expressed interest for Malaysia to allow more Cambodians to work in the country. We have accepted the offer, especially in the field of domestic maids,” Najib said at a joint press conference with Hun Sen at Perdana Putra here after their talks.
Hun Sen, who arrived in Malaysia on Wednesday, is on an official visit to Malaysia and to attend the just-concluded World Economic Forum on ASEAN.
In December last year, Malaysia and Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding for Cambodia to resume sending domestic maids to Malaysia for employment by mid-2016.
Najib said Malaysia and Cambodia had also agreed on the need to conclude agreements pertaining to human trafficking and double taxation as soon as possible.
According to a joint statement released in conjunction with the Malaysia-Cambodia meeting, Cambodia’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Malaysia’s Home Ministry had been tasked to expedite the negotiations for the signing of the agreement in relation to human trafficking.
Touching on trade, Najib said Cambodia was also keen to enhance the level of trade, which has reportedly been flat in the recent years.
“We want to increase the scope of trade and have agreed to form a joint commission in both countries. The commission will be meeting soon to discuss areas of mutual interest,” he said.
Praising the Cambodian government’s hospitality towards Malaysian investors, Najib said the total investment of Malaysian companies in the Cambodian market stood at US$4.3 billion (about RM17.85 billion).
He said this was an indication that the investments of Malaysian companies in Cambodia were likely to increase.
On bilateral ties, Najib said relations between Malaysia and Cambodia were at a good level and efforts would be made to enhance economic cooperation.
“I commend Prime Minister Hun Sen for his stewardship in bringing the country to achieve a very high rate of growth and also for being a very good host to Malaysian investors in Cambodia,” he said.
Najib also said that Cambodia wanted to increase investments in agricultural production and the supply chain of rice production and marketing.
He said Malaysia had taken note of Cambodia’s request for assistance in halal food production and certification as well as to have more Malaysian companies in that country’s construction development industry.
Meanwhile, Najib said four Malaysian universities would be offering Cambodian students opportunities to pursue their Master’s degree in the country through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) on ASEAN scholarship.
“The students will begin their courses this September. Cambodia is the third largest reciepient under the MTCP. We (Malaysia) will continue to provide various courses under the programme,” he added.
Meanwhile, Hun Sen said he hoped that Cambodia would benefit more from trade investments, scholarships, training, jobs, skills and experience from Malaysia. “With (Cambodian) people training here, and having jobs, they can bring back their experience to Cambodia,” he said.
Expressing his gratitude to Najib and the Malaysian government, he also said that they looked forward to the production of halal food for Cambodian Muslims and increased trade in the area.