Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Clothes exports kick into high gear

Clothes exports kick into high gear

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Shoes are displayed at a shop in the capital. Figures for the first half of the year show the Kingdom’s exports of garments and footwear have grown over 10 percent from last year. post staff

Clothes exports kick into high gear

Cambodia’s garment and footwear exports recorded double-digit growth to some $4 billion in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, a National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) report has said.

Industry insiders have speculated that the growth could be due to stronger sales in the US market, with one even going so far as to say that the European Union’s (EU) Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme was “inconsequential” due to growing markets elsewhere.

The NBC’s semi-annual report said the Kingdom’s exports of garments and footwear increased 11 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. In comparison, the growth rate is almost double last year’s year-on-year figure of 6.9 percent.

Despite revealing the export growth figures, the report did not point to any concrete reasons for the increase.

Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) deputy secretary general Kiang Monika said the growth could be credited to the global economy’s better performance, especially in the US and EU where the Kingdom’s exports are sold.

“We have seen strong growth in apparel product exports to the US market in the first half this year,” he said.

Monika said the export of travel goods had accelerated remarkably after the Kingdom obtained duty-free export status from the US in July 2016.

“Before we got the Generalised System of Preferences [GSP], the export of travel goods to the US was valued at about $50 million per annum. In just six months this year, our exports jumped to $160 million,” he said.

However, exports saw slower expansion in the EU market as the growth rate there remained in single digits, Monika said.

The Kingdom’s exports to Canada, Japan and China, he said, were all on the increase as well, but their relative share of Cambodian exports was still small.

A delegation from the European Commission (EC) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) made a fact-finding mission to Cambodia this month with regard to the EBA.

Chan Sophal, director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said if the Kingdom was removed from the trading agreement, it would impact the textile sector. However, he said it wasn’t a major concern.

“If the EU removed Cambodia from any trading scheme or the EBA, I think it is not a big issue for the Kingdom as it would affect only the factories exporting to that trade bloc,” he said.

However, the Kingdom’s biggest industrial sector accounts for more than 70 percent of the country’s total exports with the vast majority of its products destined for the EU, US and Canada.

The Cambodian garment sector grew four percent last year to hit $7.6 billion – up from $7.3 billion in 2016, according to a Ministry of Labour report.

Additional Reporting by Hin Pisei

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the