Political tensions taking toll on Cambodia’s vital garment industry

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Cambodia garment workerThe current political uncertainty in Cambodia forced more than 70 garment and footwear factories in Cambodia to close down and look to alternative countries to meet production needs, a senior official from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) was quoted as saying by the Khmer Times.

Speaking at a press conference before the 6th Cambodia International Textile and Garment Industry Exhibition and Machinery Industry Fair in Phnom Penh on August 22, Ly Tek Heng, the operations manager at GMAC, painted a worrying picture of the industry so far this year.

“I think the political situation has affected business, both businessmen and investors. When one country has instability in politics, it is difficult to make investments and there are concerns, especially from buyers,” he said.

“The political issues, illegal demonstrations and competition from the other garment and footwear exporting countries such Vietnam, Bangladesh and Myanmar has deterred investors from investing in Cambodia and has made buyers reluctant to order products from Cambodia.”

He said that in the first eight months of this year, more than 70 factories had been shuttered, while only 20 new ones had opened. This came as orders from buyers for footwear and clothing made in Cambodia dropped by almost 30 per cent, forcing not only closures, but the slashing of hours for workers.

However, in contrast to GMAC’s figure, recent data released by Cambodia’s Commerce Ministry paint a far healthier picture. The ministry stated that total garment and footwear exports in the first quarter of this year have increased by 39.1 per cent, to $2 billion.

The EU was the largest market, taking $717.8 million in goods, followed by the US at $419.2 million and $41.7 million to Canada, the ministry’s figures say.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

The current political uncertainty in Cambodia forced more than 70 garment and footwear factories in Cambodia to close down and look to alternative countries to meet production needs, a senior official from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) was quoted as saying by the Khmer Times.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Cambodia garment workerThe current political uncertainty in Cambodia forced more than 70 garment and footwear factories in Cambodia to close down and look to alternative countries to meet production needs, a senior official from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) was quoted as saying by the Khmer Times.

Speaking at a press conference before the 6th Cambodia International Textile and Garment Industry Exhibition and Machinery Industry Fair in Phnom Penh on August 22, Ly Tek Heng, the operations manager at GMAC, painted a worrying picture of the industry so far this year.

“I think the political situation has affected business, both businessmen and investors. When one country has instability in politics, it is difficult to make investments and there are concerns, especially from buyers,” he said.

“The political issues, illegal demonstrations and competition from the other garment and footwear exporting countries such Vietnam, Bangladesh and Myanmar has deterred investors from investing in Cambodia and has made buyers reluctant to order products from Cambodia.”

He said that in the first eight months of this year, more than 70 factories had been shuttered, while only 20 new ones had opened. This came as orders from buyers for footwear and clothing made in Cambodia dropped by almost 30 per cent, forcing not only closures, but the slashing of hours for workers.

However, in contrast to GMAC’s figure, recent data released by Cambodia’s Commerce Ministry paint a far healthier picture. The ministry stated that total garment and footwear exports in the first quarter of this year have increased by 39.1 per cent, to $2 billion.

The EU was the largest market, taking $717.8 million in goods, followed by the US at $419.2 million and $41.7 million to Canada, the ministry’s figures say.

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