One step closer to a national productivity plan

Sok Chan / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Cambodian women working in a garment factory. KT/Mai Vireak

Cambodia is now one step closer to finalising its next productivity strategy, with a study on the first stage of its development published yesterday.

The overarching goal of the national productivity strategy for the years 2020-2030 will be to achieve upper-middle income economic status by the year 2030.

To develop the policy, the government is receiving assistance from the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), who yesterday presented to government officials in Phnom Penh the results of the first stage of the strategy’s development.

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APO expert Dr Woon Kin Chung said the goal of the strategy is to achieve 5.2 percent average annual productivity growth, which would be needed to support the current yearly rate of economic expansion, seven percent, assuming the labour force grows at about 1.9 percent.

APO’s study, which was presented to officials of the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts, proposed 12 strategic “thrusts” that the government should be focusing on to raise productivity.

They include supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), building a core group of “large and productive” local enterprises, institutionalising the need for productivity in the agricultural, industrial and service sectors, diversifying the economy, moving up the value chain and modernising modes of operation.

“The goal is to develop value and increase productivity in agriculture as well as the industrial and service sector,” Mr Chung said. “We also aim to channel and re-allocate capital and labour resources accordingly to aid the transition into an upper-middle income economic structure, and to develop a highly skilled and productive workforce.”

To achieve these goals is necessary to increase training in technology-based skills, nurture a pro-business environment, and improve collaboration with relevant institutions, he added.

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Santhi Kanoktanaporn, APO secretary-general, said the study lays down the foundation for a framework that the country can follow to boost productivity.

“The most important thing is that Cambodia needs to strengthen the National Productivity Centre. More, better trained staff is needed.”

He said during the second phase of the development of the strategy, APOC will identify the direction in which the country needs to go to ensure higher productivity. “We already have a strategy, but we must now sit with all relevant agencies to identify sectors and areas that must be targeted,” he said.

“Once we are in the implementation stage, we will be really happy to provide all the assistance the government needs,” Mr Kanoktanaporn added.

Minister of Industry Cham Prasidh said the final draft of the master plan for national productivity will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval in mid-2019, after having previously been approved by the National Productivity Committee.

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“With all government agencies focusing on productivity, I believe we can reach our goal of becoming an upper-middle income economy by 2030,” he said.

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