Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hung out to dry: Exports of GTF dip 5.4% in the first half

Hung out to dry: Exports of GTF dip 5.4% in the first half

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Kingdom exported $3.784 billion worth of garment, textile and footwear (GTF) products in the first half of this year. POST STAFF

Hung out to dry: Exports of GTF dip 5.4% in the first half

Cambodia exported $3.784 billion worth of garment, textile and footwear (GTF) products to the international market in the first half of this year, dipping 5.4 per cent from the same time last year, Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesperson Heng Sour said on Wednesday.

He was speaking at a press conference on government Covid-19 response measures at the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Sour said: “The root cause for the slump is the repercussions generated by Covid-19, resulting in orders incrementally drying up. This downturn not only affects the garment sector in Cambodia, but the whole world.”

In the first half of this year, 450 garment and footwear factories in Cambodia suspended work, while 83 factories closed, he said.

Of these, he said, 10 have turned to manufacturing face masks, which are currently in high demand in the international market.

“Without government measures to relieve the investment burden and uphold factories, closures will ramp up,” he said.

Notwithstanding the drop in GTF exports logged in the first half, finance ministry permanent secretary of state Vongsey Vissoth underscored the substantial growth in shipments of bicycles and milled rice seen during the period.

He told the conference: “Garment exports to European markets were down but those to the US have come roaring back, which is why our exports dropped a smidge.”

Data from the finance ministry’s General Department of Customs and Excise show that 876,612 locally-assembled bicycles worth $197 million pedalled into the international market in the first five months of this year.

This was up 26 per cent on a yearly basis, with European markets accounting for 60 per cent.

The Kingdom exported 495,341 bicycles worth $119 million to European markets and 223,912 bicycles worth $44 million to the US market.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) president Van Sou Ieng told The Post in May that the increase in GTF exports seen in the first four months was only temporary, and was buoyed by buyer orders made prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“There will be a drop in garment exports in the coming months. I believe that footwear exports will sink, while travel bags may either remain stable or fall.

“So far, there are no orders for the garment sector confirmed, save for certain preventative medical and healthcare products.

“The Covid-19 virus has resulted in major disruptions to human lives as well as the business environment and the global supply chain,” he said.

A National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) report released on March 4 said Cambodia’s trade deficit with the rest of the world continued to widen last year to $7.76 billion, a more than 31 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

The NBC figures revealed that the Kingdom imported some $22.34 billion worth of goods last year while it exported only $14.63 billion – causing some $7.76 billion in trade deficit.

The central bank’s figures showed that the year-on-year growth rate in imports was 18.6 per cent last year, while exports lagged at 12.7 per cent.

Cambodia’s major exports of textiles, shoes, rice and bicycles were overshadowed by imports in oil, vehicles, construction materials, food and beverage, and raw materials for the manufacturing sector, the report said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • AstraZeneca jabs touch down in Phnom Penh airport

    The first shipment of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/SII vaccine which was provided through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility was delivered to Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2. The rest of the COVAX provided vaccines will arrive in Cambodia at a later date.

  • Preah Sihanouk hit with travel ban

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has announced a temporary travel ban to and from the province, except for ambulances and trucks transporting goods. The announcement came after prime minister Hun Sen called on people in the province to travel only if necessary, and that people not