The first batch of domestic workers from Cambodia, fewer than 10 people, arrived in Hong Kong last month. The number was far below the initial target of 1,000 workers that the government had announced in April, Hong Kong Economic Times reported.
The report did not state any reason for the lukewarm response in Cambodia for the recruitment plan. Secretary for Labor and Manpower Law Chi-kwong even paid a three-day visit to Cambodia in August, where he met with government officials, employment agencies and a domestic workers association to discuss the arrangement.
The general manager of City Employment Paradise said some of the Cambodians who arrived had previous experience working overseas. However, she believes that it will take some time for the workers to adapt to the new working environment, while employers also need time to become familiar with the newcomers’ working style.
Hong Kong needs 600,000 domestic workers over the next 30 years to take care of its aging population, so the government had sped up its efforts to explore new source markets to meet the growing demands.
Besides Cambodians, the government has been studying arrangements to hire workers from Myanmar and Laos.
The City Employment Paradise general manager said she understood that employment agencies in Myanmar are interested in the Hong Kong market but the arrangement has to be approved by the Myanmar government.