Employees make clothes last year at the Injae Garment Co Ltd factory in Phnom Penh.
Photo by: Tracey Shelton
THE KINGDOM’S garment and textile exports rose around 17 percent to US$2.27 billion in the first nine months of 2010, from $1.94 billion for the same period last year, official figures showed.
Government officials said yesterday it was a sign of the global recovery following the financial crisis.
“Demand is picking up,” said Deputy Cabinet Chief of the Commerce Ministry Kong Putheara yesterday, after the Kingdom’s import-export quality-control regulator CamControl released the new figures.
A breakdown showed $1.32 billion – or 58 percent – of the total exports went to the United States, a 13.3 percent increase on last year.
Shipments to the European Union rose 15.86 percent to $563.8 million, and exports to other foreign markets sharply increased 29 percent to $353.4 million.
Kong Puthear noted the diversification to regional markets, but said these other markets were still limited when compared to size of the US or EU.
“Our exports in the region are still low because we don’t have an agreement on duty free [for garments and textiles] while the EU and US offer us a lot of preferences,” he said.
He expected further increases with the ongoing global recovery, he added.
Prime Minister Hun Sen commented on the Kingdom’s export market in his address at the graduation ceremony at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh yesterday.
He said businesses should be aware of Asia’s importance in expanding exports, noting that the region was recovering faster than the US and EU markets.
He added that “new markets” should be enlarged and “old markets” maintained.
Secretary General of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia Ken Loo could not be reached for comment yesterday.