With over one million of migrant workers, if one of them send home $100 a month, the annual remittance to Cambodia’s economy would be at least $1.2 billion annually. Remittance is one of the most basic measurements of contribution by Cambodian migrant workers. Labor migration is important in terms of complementing domestic job opportunities.
Remittance can be a good source of consumption by dependents at home. If managed well, it can be a good saving, or even seed money for initial investment when those workers return home.
That said, labor migration is not economically sustainable in the long run for home economy regardless of how abundant the sources of foreign jobs, and how high the level of incomes. At some points, those workers will have to return home as they cannot permanently stay and work at the host countries.
The fact is migratory work does not make people rich nor does it make the country become developed because it does not help strengthen the country’s economic and industrial foundation other than private consumption.
Cambodia cannot become a country of labor exporter forever. As Cambodia’s economy is developing, Cambodia also needs labor force to support its own economy and industry.