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Footwear investments still kicking

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The EU said the partial withdrawal of its Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme would affect selected garment and footwear products, and all travel goods and sugar. POST STAFF

Footwear investments still kicking

Investment in Cambodia’s footwear manufacturing industry is still kicking as the Covid-19 pandemic runs rampant around the globe.

The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) issued a final certificate of registration for Mann Long Shoes Co Ltd’s $10.3 million footwear factory in Kampong Cham province.

Located along National Road 6 in Phdav Chum commune’s Chheu Teal village in Cheung Prey district, the project is expected to provide 3,379 jobs, the CDC said in a statement on Thursday.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce vice-president Lim Heng told The Post on Sunday that the Kingdom offers the potential for high investment returns on footwear plants, notwithstanding the EU’s possible withdrawal of tariff preferences on its exports to the European market.

The European Commission (EC) in February announced the partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, citing a serious and systematic violation by Cambodia of principles in the four core human and labour rights.

The suspension affects one-fifth or €1 billion ($1.14 billion) of Cambodia’s annual exports to the EU’s 27-nation bloc.

The decision would take effect on August 12, unless the Parliament objects. The partial withdrawal would affect selected garment and footwear products, and all travel goods and sugar, the EC said.

Heng said that with its strong trade relations with many countries, the Kingdom will easily secure other markets for its footwear products.

“I don’t think there’ll be any obstacles for the Cambodian footwear products market. Down the line, Cambodia’s market will balloon even further, especially with Eurasia, as well as China and South Korea once free trade agreements with them come into effect,” he said.

He noted that investors weigh their options at great length before embarking on a new venture.

CDC secretary-general Sok Chenda Sophea said in February that the number of applications filed to the CDC has not declined despite the Covid-19 threat and the fact that Cambodia could lose 20 per cent of its preferential trade with Europe beginning in August.

He said Cambodia remains a very attractive destination for foreign investment. “While some projects have been suspended or cancelled, new investors have come in,” he said.

In just the first week of this month, the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) approved three new investment projects worth more than $14.4 million. They are expected to generate 625 jobs.

Phoenix Artist Materials (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $7.3 million picture frame and paint factory is expected to offer 230 jobs, while Smart Silver Star Co Ltd’s $5.1 million light bulb and lamp parts manufacturing plant will provide 180 jobs, said the CDC.

Both are located in the Manhattan (Svay Rieng) Special Economic Zone in Bavet town’s Bavet commune, in Svay Rieng province.

Chang Zhou Hua Mei Da Textiles (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s $2 million textile and facemask manufacturing plant is located in Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) – the Kingdom’s largest industrial park – in Bit Traing commune’s Pou Thoeung village in the province’s Prey Nop district.

The CDC expects the facility to create 215 new jobs.

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