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Cambodia and Sri Lanka urge for opening apparel factories

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide, resulted in major disruptions in our lives as well as businesses and the global apparel supply chain.

Against this mighty tide, some of the competing countries of Bangladesh (for example Cambodia and Sri Lanka) have decided to open their garments factories.

Cambodia-Sri-Lanka-opening-garment-factories
Figure: Cambodia and Sri Lankan government instruct RMG factories to resume operation. Courtesy: Manori Wijesekera, GPJ Sri Lanka

Cambodia government instructs RMG factories to resume operation through a circular from the ministry of labor. They also mentioned the necessary steps to follow under the health quarantine measure.

Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia, urged retailers and fashion brands, partners – garment, footwear and travel goods buyers sourcing from Cambodia – to stay committed to Cambodia and especially to the workers. And abide by contracts and not to cancel orders that have been placed and goods have already been produced or are currently in production.

This will ensure the contribution of the social development of millions of Cambodians who are depending on these sectors for their livelihood.

Cambodia was the first country in the world that links trade with labor standards. Since 2001, it partnered with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to launch Better Factories Cambodia which required all exporting garment factories in Cambodia to be subjected to monitoring by the ILO to ensure compliance to national laws and international labor standards.

“On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the workers in these sectors, I thank you for the support and confidence you have shown and given to us over the past 2 decades. I sincerely look forward too many more years of cooperation with you all,” said PAN Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia.

Cambodia is proud of this initiative and will continue to ensure that the labor and social rights of the garment workers are upheld while rebuilding a sustainable supply chain.

While Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) recently made a clarion call for the fast resumption of exports that have been suspended due to the partial shutdown for three weeks as part of stopping the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COPVID-19).

The EDB is ready to support all exporters and a hotline is in place for any assistance that we can provide. We are from a nation where our unity is stronger than our individuality. When faced with times of difficulty, Sri Lankans will once again come together and rise.

Export Development Board, Sri Lanka said in a statement

Export Development Board said in a statement, it is a difficult moment for the world. We are fighting the coronavirus pandemic whilst our nation’s exporters have been facing challenging times for the past two months. The EDB requests that now more than ever the time has come for us to prepare our businesses to stay up and running.

Sri Lanka’s exports in January were downcast by 7.4% to US$961 million and in the first two months, down by 3.6% to US$1.93 billion from the previous year.

We are confident that we will weather this storm and as we have done in the past, Sri Lanka will emerge stronger than ever and continue focusing on our main goal – recommencing exports, restoring them to their former level and increasing them, EDB added.

EDB stressed it is of utmost importance, therefore, that all exporters commence operations after the New Year holidays. Factories will be permitted to operate outside the red zones and we must come together to fulfill our responsibility as Sri Lankans.

“The EDB is ready to support all exporters and a hotline is in place for any assistance that we can provide. We are from a nation where our unity is stronger than our individuality. When faced with times of difficulty, Sri Lankans will once again come together and rise,” the statement concluded.

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