Prime Minister Hun Manet has asked the Ministry of Mines and Energy to lower electricity tariffs in the manufacturing sector in order to boost production amidst a slowdown in the global and regional economy.

Speaking during a visit to a garment factory in Takeo province on September 19, Manet said the private sector has played a critical role in supporting the national economy, as the government works with them to raise production and generate more jobs.

“Last evening [September 18], I asked Keo Rattanak [Minister of Mines and Energy] to consider the possibility of conducting a trial to reduce electricity tariffs in the production sector in the next three months, around the end of this year,” he mentioned.

Manet said the lowering of the cost need not be for all enterprises, just a few, “especially industries, enterprises and agricultural sectors that produce a lot and use a lot of energy”.

“So, if electricity is cheap, they will expand production further. As long as they expand [produce] more and export more, it would create more jobs for people,” he said.

In an immediate response to Manet, Keo Rattanak, who was also present during the factory visit, said based on his study, about 21,000 enterprises would be able to enjoy the benefits of lower electricity prices.

Kaing Monika, deputy secretary-general of Textile, Apparels, Footwear and Travel Goods Association (TAFTAC) told The Post on September 19 that the premier’s initiative would benefit the industrial sector and boost productivity, making the industry more competitive.

“We hope that the Ministry of Mines and Energy will take swift action as per the Prime Minister’s instruction to assist the industrial sector, particularly the garment, footwear and travel goods sector. As a contract manufacturing sector, manufacturing cost is key to competitiveness, so anything that can contribute to cost reduction is very crucial,” he said.

Cambodia’s total exports in the first half of 2023 amounted to $11.5 billion from $11.1 billion in the second half of 2022, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise.

International trade volume hit $23.7 billion between January and June 2023, down 5.9 per cent from $25.2 billion. Imports made up 51.6 per cent of that, coming in at $12.2 billion, down 13.1 per cent from $14.1 billion.