Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia fails to sell garments to Japan

Cambodia fails to sell garments to Japan

Cambodia fails to sell garments to Japan

THE Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) announced on Wednesday it has failed to boost local industry by tapping the Japanese clothing market.

Cheath Khemara, GMAC's labour issue officer, told the Post Wednesday that the Kingdom had lost out because producers were unable to compete with neighbouring countries on quality, transportation and pricing.

"We really regret we failed to grab such a big market, but we will keep trying in the hope that we can enter Japan in future," he said.

He said exporting to Japan would add at least US$100 million annually in garment revenues.

The president of GMAC, Van Sou Ieng, led a delegation to Japan in November in a bid to persuade buyers to consider Cambodian garments.

The delegation included manufacturers, government officials and union representatives, and concluded with Japan agreeing to a trial purchase of 10,000 suits and 100,000 pairs of shoes. That deal has not happened.

One of the delegates on that trip, Chea Vuthy from the Council for the Development of Cambodia, told the Post he was not aware of the reasons for failure.

He added that responsibility lay with the Ministry of Commerce.

However, Mean Sophea, who is director of the department of trade preferences at the ministry, was unable to comment on Wednesday as he was in a meeting.

Ath Thun, the president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Unions, an umbrella organisation that has more than 50 garment unions as members, said the failure was a great loss.

Japan is a large market, he said, and its consumers can afford to pay higher prices than people in other markets.

"To my mind loss of confidence by workers in their job security and their low salaries are the main factors which contributed to low quality," Ath Thun said. "But I don't think these are the main reasons for the failure to enter Japan."

Ath Thun said that, more importantly, the government needs to make the bureaucratic process more transparent and improve infrastructure used by the industry.

"Then I am sure we can make a new deal which will allow us to export garment products to Japan," he said.

Cambodia has long wanted to export garments to Japan, the world's third-largest market for such exports after the US and the European Union.

The industry earns revenues of $3 billion annually.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which