The 2nd International Conference on Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP) took place here in Phnom Penh from June 20 to 21 at Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence under the theme “Human Resource Development for Sustainable Tourism Development”. The conference was presided by Cambodian tourism minister, H.E. Thong Khon.
I felt so delighted to have spent the day at this conference and learned from distinguished speakers and panelists.
Though there are things to be done and there is always room to get things done better going forward, the good progress Cambodia has achieved so far in the MRA-TP implementation process makes the future look bright and promising.
A brief introduction in case the terminology is not of familiarity. In ASEAN we have this so-called ASEAN Agreement on Service Trade; one initiative for service trade facilitation is the so-called Mutual Recognition Arrangements in certain professions whereby host countries in the region may recognize the education/experience/expertise obtained and license/certificate issued by one member for the purpose of granting license/certificate to that professional to work in the host. ASEAN MRA covers Medical Practitioners, Dental Practitioners, Engineering, Nursing, Architectural, Surveying, Accountancy and Tourism professionals.
The conference reminded me of a GIZ project where I led a team to conduct primary and secondary research on skilled-labor market and education, consultation with stakeholders including government bodies such as National Committee for Tourism Professionals and Cambodian Council of Nurses, industry associations and private sector, and regulatory assessment of the implementation of the MRA for tourism and nursing professionals in Cambodia.
The success story of MRA-TP implementation process can become a role model for MRA implementation in other professions. With regards to human resource development, I believe there’s no better time to prepare our youth than NOW so that they can be integrated into regional and global value chains.