August 12, 2011

Cambodia urged to promote human capital


PHNOM PENH, Aug. 12 -- Cambodia's recovery from the economic crisis provided an opportunity to re-evaluate and promote the human capital in order to secure the sustainable of economic growth and poverty reduction.

In a statement released Friday, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Cambodia said one of the main elements constraining Cambodia's economic development, as outlined in the Cambodia Country Competitiveness report, has proven to be human capital.

"Cambodia can no longer rely on an abundant supply of inexpensive skilled and semi-skilled workers to propel its economic development," it said. "The country's future will rely on a pool of skilled workers able to take part in the diversification and expansion of its current industrial base."

"Planning for the future needs of Cambodia's economic and social development, however, needs to begin now, in both education and sectoral plans, to produce the quality and quantity of skills that will be needed," the statement added.

The Supreme National Economic Council and UNDP Cambodia jointly issued a report titled "Human Capital Implications of Future Economic Growth in Cambodia: Elements of a Suggested Roadmap" Friday.

The report identifies weaknesses in the linkages between the country's future economic growth and the education and skill formation needs of the workforce, as well as opportunities to be seized in order to support human capital development.

The report describes immediate, short-, medium-, and long-term policy options to improve Cambodia's human resource development and ensure the country's future competitiveness and poverty reduction efforts.

"The continuing effort towards preparation and implementation of the Human Capital Development Roadmap will represent the ongoing commitment to ensure that human capital priorities are set forth and aligned with the country's development agenda for diversified, equitable and resilient growth," said UNDP Cambodia Country Director Elena Tischenko.

"As Cambodia moves forward on its path of further development and economic diversification, the Human Capital Roadmap, and the momentum that it will hopefully create, will help prepare the workforce and educational capital to support this progress. The road-mapping and planning process will require a new level of coordination and cooperation across ministries, with research and academic institutions, civil society and the private sector, and with development partners," she added.

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