Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted and non-knitted or crocheted items worth $4.5 billion were exported to international markets in the first seven months of 2023, down 20.6 per cent year-on-year from $5.6 billion, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE).
Items of codes 61 and 62 accounted for 33 per cent of Cambodia’s total exports in the first seven months of 2023, amounting to $13.5 billion.
For the month of July 2023, exports of goods with codes 61 and 62 fell 26.6 per cent to $814.6 million, from over $1.1 billion in July 2022, the GDCE stated.
Hong Vanak, an economics researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), told The Post on August 15 that declining activity and the value of international trade has been happening in almost every country for about a year, despite the fact that the Covid-19 crisis was almost completely tapered.
The ongoing problems are largely due to the effects of geopolitical conflicts and the Russia-Ukraine war, he said, adding that the declining trend is prevalent for many exports and countries in the world.
“The decline in the exports of goods with codes 61 and 62 in the last seven months is not uncommon, neither does it indicate weakened production capacity in Cambodia, rather it is a crisis of declining global demand, except for food for daily consumption,” he said.
Vanak added that the recovery of Cambodia’s export volume banks on the world economy and politics.
Kaing Monika, deputy secretary-general of the Textile, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods Association in Cambodia (TAFTAC), previously told The Post that exports of Cambodian garments have been falling since the fourth quarter of 2022.
Cambodia’s main markets are the US, followed by the EU, Japan, Canada and the UK. “The situation in the EU is not good at the moment,” he said.
Data from TAFTAC shows that in the beginning of August, the sector had a total of 1,077 factories, employing approximately 760,000 workers.
In 2022, the articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted and non-knitted or crocheted using codes 61 and 62 totalled over $9 billion, an increase of 12.7 per cent from $8 billion in 2021, according to the GDCE.