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.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the