HONG KONG, April 24 (Xinhua) -- China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is expected to have its first batch of Cambodian domestic helpers this September, thanks to relaxation of visa restrictions in order to promote human communications with countries along the Belt and Road Initiative.
The number of the first group of Cambodian domestic helpers to Hong Kong will be about 1,000, while the long-term goal is to have over 10,000 more Cambodians employed by Hong Kong families every year, Simon Liu, chairman of Cambodia Human Resource Development Association, said on Monday at a signing ceremony in Hong Kong.
The association signed an agreement with the Cambodian government to become the latter's official representative to promote, train and protect Cambodian workers in Hong Kong.
According to Liu, the first batch of Cambodian domestic helpers, many of whom have experience of working overseas, will receive three months of training in Cantonese, Chinese cooking, and health care skills for elderly and children, before they come to Hong Kong.
"There is an ever-increasing demand of domestic helpers from Hong Kong families... The supply of Cambodian maids can ease the situation," said Elain Fung, director of a Hong Kong employment agency, adding that Hong Kong's recent relaxation of visa restrictions has made it easier for Cambodian workers to successfully apply for visas to Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong SAR government has relaxed visa restrictions for Cambodian workers, investors and students since March 1.
Following the relaxation of visa requirements, "Cambodian nationals may apply to enter Hong Kong for employment under different schemes, or for investment, training and study," the Hong Kong SAR Secretary for Labor and Welfare Stephen Sui said Monday during a meeting with Cambodian Minister of Labor and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng, adding that "for those who are interested to work as domestic helpers in Hong Kong, we see plenty of opportunities available here."