Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom pulls factories

Kingdom pulls factories

Kingdom pulls factories

As much of the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic with global trade and economies paralysed, 77 new factories have launched operations in the Kingdom, while only six have shut down.

And in the first quarter of this year, the total number of factories registering with the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation has reached 1,801, a senior ministry official said.

Speaking at a news briefing in Phnom Penh on Thursday, the ministry’s secretary of state Heng Sokkong attributed the growth to the government’s “attractively open policies” and sufficient supply of raw materials.

He said while the six factories’ closure had put 6,052 workers out of jobs, the new factories are expected to create 27,909 new ones.

As of late March, he said, there were a total of 1,801 factories operating throughout the Kingdom. They accounted for 1,063,031 jobs.

“The growth brings about national pride as the rest of the world is struggling with Covid-19,” Sokkong said.

However, he said the number did not include factories that had filed for suspension of their operations due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Sokkong pointed out that Cambodia had not faced a serious shortage of raw material supplies from other counties.

“This is a golden opportunity for Cambodia. After the Covid-19 ends, there will be more orders [of garments] from Cambodia,” he said.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) secretary-general Ken Loo said his association registered five new members in the first quarter of this year.

“At the same time, some of our factory members have also shut down,” he said, without providing exact figures.

While garments represent the main export from Cambodia, Sokkong said the government is pushing for diversification in the sector.

Meanwhile, he said Cambodia is making efforts to expand its production line in order to create new jobs for people by avoiding exporting raw materials abroad.

“We are diversifying from maximum workforces-reliant industry to skilled workforce-reliant industries. We are urging manufacturers in Cambodia to turn themselves into smart factories,” he said.

According to the World Bank’s projection, Cambodia’s economic growth will slow significantly to 2.5 per cent this year but is likely to recover to 5.9 per cent in 2021 under the baseline scenario.

The Kingdom’s tourism sector has been hit hardest by the Covid-19 outbreak, while the garment industry is facing a significant drop in global demand due to the pandemic and the partial withdrawal of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme.

According to the ministry’s report, in the first quarter of last year, there were 1,099 factories producing mainly textiles, garments, wallets and shoes and 163 factories producing food, beverages and cigarettes.

There were also 36 factories involved in wood processing, 63 in paper and cloth printing, 145 in chemical, rubber and plastics production, 58 in mine extraction, 163 in steel processing, 20 in furniture manufacturing, one in electrical items and gas, and 53 in miscellaneous manufacturing.

Watch video:


  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism