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‘Garment exports stays strong’

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Female workers of a garment factory stitch clothing for export in the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Most products go to the EU and the US. KHEM SOVANNARA/CAMBODGE SOIR/AFP

‘Garment exports stays strong’

Exports of garments and footwear products will remain strong for the rest of this year thanks to pre-orders from international buyers, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said yesterday.

Its deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika said garment manufacturers will continue to see strong export growth from October till December as the orders for this period were already placed in August and September.

As a result, the export volume in the second half of this year will be as strong as the one in the first six months.

However, he said the possible loss of the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade scheme for exports to EU countries could pose a psychological impact on international buyers, which could be seen next year.

Buyers’s sentiment

Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (CCAWDU) president, Ath Thon, who represents 80,000 garment workers, said yesterday that speculation on whether the EBA would be suspended could negatively affect buyers’ sentiment.

He said it could make them hesitate or reconsider before extending contracts, and that any negative news could reduce next year’s orders.

“Some buyers might not dare to place large purchase orders as before or sign long-term purchase contracts with Cambodian manufacturers to avoid unnecessary risks,” Ath Thon said.

Garment and footwear exports represented $4 billion in the first half of this year, an increase of 11 per cent compared to the same period last year, a National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) semi-annual report released in July said.

Cambodia’s factories supply to global brands such as Gap Inc, Swedish fashion brand H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB, and sportswear brands Nike, Puma and Adidas, and others.

The Kingdom’s main markets for garment and footwear products are the US and the EU.

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