Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Loan agreement inked for Cambodia’s first garment training school

Loan agreement inked for Cambodia’s first garment training school

Loan agreement inked for Cambodia’s first garment training school

Van Sou Ieng, president of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia
Van Sou Ieng, president of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (L) and Gregory Clemente, director of AFD’s Asia department. Hong Menea

Van Sou Ieng, president of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (L) and Gregory Clemente, director of AFD’s Asia department. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

The Garment Manufacturer’s Association in Cambodia (GMAC) signed a $3.5 million loan agreement with French international development agency Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) yesterday to build Cambodia’s first garment sector training school.

The school will train Cambodia’s unskilled garment workers and other Cambodians who wish to undertake high level work in garment factories in order to cancel out the high labour costs of employing people from abroad, Van Sou Ieng, president of GMAC, said at the signing ceremony.

He said that so far, most Cambodians working in the garment industry are unskilled, limiting them to just cutting the cloth and sewing the garments. Meanwhile, for technical work, people need to be recruited from abroad at a higher cost.

“For technical work and higher positions in the industry, we always hire foreigners to come and work in Cambodia as we don’t have qualified Cambodians,” he said. “This signing ceremony is to build the school to train Cambodian workers to get the qualifications for higher positions in the factories and to manage the workers,” he added.

“I hope that the school will train Cambodian people to gain skills in order to work at a high level in the industry where we normally hire from abroad – at merchandising, merchant control [levels] – some other technical work,” said Sou Ieng.

Kain Monika, GMAC business development manager, told reporters that the loan, which has a repayment period of 15 years, will be used to build a school located in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone and construction will take about two years. Presently, most of the foreign workers come from China, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The school will be open to all Cambodians and young graduates who want to work at higher levels or positions in the industry, said Kain Monika.

Technical teachers will be hired from abroad. It is a non-profit school, but the fees will be used to cover daily operations, and ensure the sustainability of the school.

According to data from GMAC, 500 garment factories are registered members with the association, employing more than 500,000 workers.

Cambodia’s total garment and textile exports increased slightly at around 10 per cent to $3.44 billion over the first nine months of the year, compared to $3.13 billion over the same period last year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Kunmakara at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Ranariddh 'seriously injured', his wife dies in accident in Preah Sihanouk

    THE wife of former first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh has died. Ouk Phalla succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nub district this morning. She and the prince were immediately rushed to the Preah Sihanouk