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Cambodian garment industry hit hard due to COVID-19 pandemic

The United States and the European Union are the largest export markets of Cambodia’s garments. Like other Cambodian garment industry also hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The textile and garment industries of Cambodia has been developing strongly in recent years and play a vital role in the economic growth of the countries.

Figure: Like other Cambodian garment industry also hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy: betterwork.org

More than 57 factories had suspended operations due to raw material shortage. But 20 out of those are now back in action after China recently resumed the supply of raw materials, according to Ken Loo, Secretary-General of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC).

Over in Cambodia, it was reported that more than half a million people are employed in the garment industry making it the biggest sector in the country. Media reports also state that the sector accounts for 16 percent of Cambodia’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 80 percent of its export earnings.

However, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, around 15,000 workers have been temporarily laid off as factories are shut down.

Brands are canceling orders and refusing to receive ready goods. Garment factory owners in Cambodia are urging brands and retailers not to cancel or postpone orders during the current coronavirus pandemic.

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) is calling on all stakeholders to work together and not to “give up on Cambodia”.

China has started to move on and the supply chain is getting normal, but if the brand shops remain off and they do not give the order, factories have no other choice but remain closed.

Cambodia has eased the liquidity of banks so that they can help distressed borrowers and Prime Minister Hun Sen also announced tax breaks and a bailout plan of up to US $ 2 billion, last month.

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