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Last Updated:[18-02-2009 23:37:52 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Cambodian Garments Record 7 Percent Growth in Exports

tradenews Garments, the backbone of Cambodian exports were able to register 7 percent growth in 2008 to $3.15bn from its previous year. Even in 2008, the US continued to be the largest market for Cambodian garments by importing products worth $1.95bn. The EU and Canada with $631mn and $202mn respectively became second and third largest buyers during the same period.

Few years ago more than 60 percent of Cambodian garments were supplied to the US. But today the European countries and Canada are showing greater interest in Cambodian garments as they are cheaper and maintain country specific standards. Canadian imports from Cambodia have witnessed 20 percent growth from in its previous year.

Cambodian Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh stated that about $213mn increase in exports was an encouraging development during global slowdown. Taking into account, the US the largest trading partner of Cambodia which is experiencing deep depression, the current growth is regarded as better than anticipated. Prasidh added that the country’s garment industry was in good shape even now as they were able to attract large orders from the international market.

According to sources, the Cambodian garment industry is not without its own problems which are the direct fallout of global recession. They are facing similar issues those which are confronted by other garment exporting nations in the region including China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Lately, the international buyers are quoting very low prices for their products which are in reality below the production cost. And this in turn has forced many shops to shut down their businesses.

Some data show that more than 50 firms have closed down, out of about 400 garment factories in the country. As a result, more than 25000 workers are out of job, and the industry fears that since there is no clear sign of any recovery of global economy in near future, the unemployment is likely to rise significantly. However, an official from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' Federation of Textiles and Apparel (AFTEX) said that they were pinning hopes on the stitch in time by the government in finding new markets for their products.

By Jose Roy

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