The Asian Development Bank reports Cambodia’s labor force still has relatively low skills and low educational attainment, a problem facing its overall development agenda. While this might be the case currently, Statista showed that traditional industries, such as agriculture, which revolves around largely unskilled and informal work, shrunk by some 25% while the service and industry sectors grew by 11% and 12% respectively.
“Therein lies an opportunity for Cambodia, to enhance skillsets on the ground by integrating global workforces in-country,” Downs added.
A prime example of foreign talent’s impact in Cambodia is Group CFO at iCare Benefits – the leading buy-now-pay-later firm in Cambodia and Laos – Pablo F. Alonso CAPRILE.
Not only has iCare benefits succeeded in becoming a profitable company within the Kingdom – resulting in job creation and generating new revenue – but the social impact of his businesses has reduced the need for low-income factory workers to resort to shark loans for essential products.
Speaking on international migration, Caprile said that the government’s policy to open Cambodia to foreign talent and investment is paying dividends. Caprile said, “I see a lot of effort from the Cambodian government to support foreign talent and operators who come into Cambodia, which in turn has boosted its economic development. It is a hospitable place to work, the timelines are quick for getting a visa and investment into Cambodia, and it’s geared toward a start-up system. This allows foreign talent to come in and run a business while also supporting an in-country ecosystem”.
While Caprile identifies his own business as down-to-market opportunities, he said international talent coming into the Kingdom, equipped with ideas and good execution, offers a lot to the Cambodian business space. Caprile mentioned that “There are still a lot of opportunities, if you come with ideas and knowledge, here you can live as a foreign entrepreneur successfully, with streamlined visa and paperwork, without the red tape associated with other countries”.