Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - GSP exemption pitched

GSP exemption pitched

Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak gives a presentation in Hong Kong on Monday at a generalised system of preferences forum. Photo supplied
Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak gives a presentation in Hong Kong on Monday at a generalised system of preferences forum. Photo supplied

GSP exemption pitched

A roadshow to Hong Kong this week to pitch Cambodia’s newly received duty-free access on travel goods to the US market was successful, but manufacturers have yet to sign concrete deals to establish new production lines here, a delegate of the returning business mission said.

US ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt said the Cambodian delegation met nearly 20 international buyers and 20 travel-goods manufacturers during the two-day trip, including Li & Fung, a global supply company that manages top US and European Union brands.

He said that while investors showed interest, they would need to spend time studying Cambodia’s market potential before committing to any projects.

Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak led the delegation, which also included officials from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC).

The investor presentation aimed at promoting Cambodia’s preferential treatment under the revised US Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme that allows Cambodian-made travel goods such as luggage, backpacks and wallets to be imported duty-free by US buyers.

Heidt said three companies with factories in Cambodia had already responded to the opportunity by expanding their production lines – a move that could create an additional 5,000 local jobs. Another five companies “showed serious interest” following the Hong Kong presentation.

“I support Cambodia’s strategy very strongly,” Heidt said. “They are not sitting around and waiting, but actively looking to recruit investment.”

While Cambodia was one of just two countries in the Asia-Pacific region to be granted a tariff exemption on travel goods on July 1, US trade officials previously have said that scheme could be granted to neighbouring countries, especially as American buyers look to diversify away from mainland China.

Heidt said that the Cambodian delegation had invited the investors it met in Hong Kong to visit the Kingdom to explore the market potential in mid-November. “We are going to be getting a big delegation of from Hong Kong to come and visit Cambodia,” he said.

Cambodia’s share of the travel-products market remains small, but has grown impressively in the last five years. Total exports were just $240,000 in 2011, but topped $48 million last year.

However, GMAC chairman Van Sou Ieng previously told the Post that Cambodia was well positioned to shift from the traditional garment sector to more higher-value added travel goods.

He said 15 manufacturers in Cambodia currently produce eligible travel goods, and estimated that the revised GSP scheme could push exports to $200 million annually, adding 100,000 new jobs.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,