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Private firms hail holiday cut

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Garment workers in a Phnom Penh factory. post pix

Private firms hail holiday cut

The private sector has applauded the government’s decision to cut the number of public holidays.

The move will boost the supply chain as Cambodia has the potential for labour-intensive work, especially in the garment sector, they said.

According to a sub-decree on the public holiday calendar for 2020 signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday, the government has decided to cut six days public holidays, taking the total from 28 to 22.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika said the reduction in the number of holidays will increase the volume of textile manufacturing and promote competition.

“It is part of the government’s comprehensive economic reform plan, which is aimed at enhancing competitiveness, volume of production and providing various services through a larger number of working days than before,” he said.

Ly Ly Food Industry Co Ltd director Keo Mom said the move will increase her company’s production by 60 tonnes per day. She added that the measure would also help attract investors to Cambodia.

“As an entrepreneur, I would like to thank the government. The fewer days off we have, the more we can increase our productivity.

“Having fewer holidays is an opportunity to attract investors,” she said, adding that prospective investors usually ask how many days off employees get before they invest.

The average number of public holidays among Group of 20 countries, which account for 80 per cent of the world’s total trade volume, is 12 days.

Thailand has 20 days off per year, while Vietnam has 12 and Laos 10.

THE CHIEF of Fiat Chrysler remains open to the possibility of resuming merger talks with France’s Renault, months after talks between the two automakers aimed at forging an industry powerhouse broke down, according to an interview published on Monday.

Mike Manley told the Financial Times the underlying logic supporting a tie-up remained, despite Fiat’s decision to withdraw its proposal for a merger of equals with its French rival in June.

“Should the circumstances change, then maybe dreams come together and things can happen,” Manley said.

Fiat walked away after growing frustrated with tensions between Renault’s executives and the French state, which holds a 15 per cent stake and double the voting rights.

Renault’s chairman Jean-Dominique Senard publicly blamed the French state for scuppering the deal, a charge rejected by Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Mounting friction between Renault and its alliance partner Nissan also cast a pall over the Fiat negotiations, with Japanese executives furious at having been kept in the dark about the plan.

But Renault and Nissan are now weighing an overhaul of their partnership that would better align their reciprocal stakes in each automaker, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

Renault owns 43 per cent of Nissan, which in turn has just a 15 per cent stake in Renault, and which carries no voting rights.

The French government, for its part, indicated in June that it would be willing to reduce its holding in Renault if it would smooth relations with Nissan.

“As they work through those things, those circumstances that are necessary to move or change potentially could happen,” Manley told the Financial Times.

“If that were the case, we would be interested in hearing from them,” he said.

Contacted by AFP, Renault did not immediately comment on Manley’s statements.

Fiat’s proposal would have created the world’s third-largest automaker, with annual sales of 8.7 million vehicles.

Including Nissan and Renault’s other alliance partner Mitsubishi, the group would have been a globe-spanning heavyweight selling nearly 16 million cars per year – or one out of six delivered worldwide.

Mergers are a tempting route for automakers worldwide as they face massive investments for electrifying their fleets amid growing pressure to cut carbon emissions, even as sales growth in many markets slows. AFP

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