Minimum wage in vogue across Asia as debate rages on

Clothes on sale at a street stall in Phnom Penh. Cambodia's US$7.9 billion garment and footwear industry is set for another hike in the minimum wage from US$170 a month now to US$182 next year. The emphasis on benchmark minimum wages marks something
Clothes on sale at a street stall in Phnom Penh. Cambodia's US$7.9 billion garment and footwear industry is set for another hike in the minimum wage from US$170 a month now to US$182 next year. The emphasis on benchmark minimum wages marks something of a shift in policy in Asia where in the past, governments tended to rely more on indirect forms of assistance.ST FILE PHOTO

Even in countries that have it for a long time, there's still little consensus about the policy

With demand for sports shoes and inexpensive linen shirts showing little signs of slowing, and as Chinese send textile makers and other low-value industries packing, the immediate future for Cambodia's garment sector looks rather buttoned down - for now.

But as Cambodia's US$7.9 billion (S$10.9 billion) garment and footwear industry girds itself for another hefty hike in the minimum wage that it pays its 740,000 workers, Mr Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, wonders how long the rapid pace of growth will last.

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Thank you for reading The Straits Times

You have reached one of our Premium stories. To continue reading, get access now or log in if you are a subscriber.

What is Premium?

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2018, with the headline 'Minimum wage in vogue across Asia as debate rages on'. Print Edition | Subscribe