The Cambodian government should construct an effective annual review system for the minimum wage to ease worker unrest, according to clothing retail giant H&M.

The Swedish company’s comments came after CEO Karl-Johan Persson visited the country in mid-October, meeting Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen and other stakeholders such as trade unions and the UN-backed Better Factories Cambodia.

H&M believes the government should conduct an annual review of the minimum wage, taking into account national inflation and the consumer price index.

“If an effective review system is created and implemented, these revisions will help address the basic needs of the workers,” the company said.

“When working conditions are more stable, both suppliers and buyers can focus on productivity and on developing the textile industry in Cambodia.”

This autumn, H&M plans to launch a project aimed at strengthening industrial relations in the country, drawn up in partnership with the Swedish Embassy, the International Labour Organization and Swedish union IF Metall.

“Our goal is to create opportunities for dialogue and strengthen the textile workers’ influence,” said H&M.

“We believe that it is in the interest of the Cambodian textile industry, as well as in our interest, that the industry continues to develop into an advanced and mature textile industry.

“Stable markets, in which people are treated with respect, and where the workers are properly compensated by their employers, are of the utmost importance.”

H&M has been buying from suppliers in Cambodia since 1998 and set up a production office in Phnom Penh in 2000.