Hun Sen’s Plan to Prop Up Economy Reveals Concerns Over EBA, Coronavirus

The government and garment manufacturers have maintained that work suspensions were only linked to raw material shortages as China deals with the COVID-19 outbreak, though Monday’s announcements clearly reveal the EBA to be another concern for authorities.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday the government will help factories pay 60 percent of workers’ minimum wage for up to six months and offer exporters tax breaks in an effort to mitigate effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and revocation of EU trade privileges.

In a five-hour long speech, Hun Sen outlined measures to “save the national economy,” saying the government will ensure workers receive 60 percent of their minimum wage for up to six months, if factories were to request work suspensions. This would reduce the impact of raw material shortages due to COVID-19, he said, and the potential effects of the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) trade privileges partial withdrawal.

Additionally, factories do not have to pay their contributions to the National Social Security Fund and some factories would receive up to 12 months of tax breaks, though he did not mention which factories.

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