The first batch of 113 Cambodian workers entered Thailand yesterday in the hope of getting paid a minimum wage of Bt300 per day as promised by the Pheu Thai-led government.
At the checkpoint in front of Sa Kaew's Aranyaprathet border pass yesterday, Thai officials checked the documents of 113 Cambodian workers (59 males and 54 females) who crossed over from Poi Pet to work in Thailand.
These workers would be hired by Thai factories as per the Thai- Cambodian memorandum of understanding on migrant labour.
Thai authorities also searched them for drugs and other illegal items while ensuring that non-documented workers did not sneak in by mixing up with the documented group. After taking photos of these workers and collecting copies of their documents, the Cambodians were handed over to their employers' representatives who transported them to designated factories.
One worker named Sa-euan Choy, 23, revealed that thousands of Cambodian people had applied to work with Thai companies through employment agencies which had recently opened in Phnom Penh City. The move follows the Cambodian government's approval for 8,000 workers to work in Thailand.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier said that the Pheu Thai Party-led government would be the "best friend" of Cambodia. He said many Cambodians were happy and believed the Thai-Cambodia border clashes would end. He added that Cambodians were most hopeful about Pheu Thai Party's policy of hiking the minimum daily wage to Bt300, and many wanted to work in Thailand.
Sakaew immigration police deputy chief Pol Lt-Colonel Benjapol Rodsawas said that following the election, which was won by Pheu Thai, the atmosphere for tourism was more positive. Several tour companies in Cambodia were contacting to get tourists to visit Angkor Thom-Ankor Wat.
Aranyaprathet Customs Checkpoint chief Auaychai Kulthipmontri said it was expected that Thai exports to Cambodia through the checkpoint would increase to about Bt30 billion this year compared to about Bt28 billion last year.