HANDMADE silk in Cambodia was in the spotlight during a conference held by the National Silk Centre, with the support of the European Union, at Pouk District on the outskirts of Siem Reap.
The Silk Day was organized to promote the quality of handmade silk products and to give an insight into the industry and the challenges it faces. The event also marked the completion of a project to develop and promote the silk sector in Siem Reap and Bantey Meanchey provinces.
This was part of European Union-funded scheme and was implemented by Chantiers-Ecoles de Formation Professionelle and Khmer Silk Villages.
Mr Ke Munny, KSV deputy general secretary, told participants that Khmer silk generates 19 different export products.
“This year in southern Cambodia, there are 20,500 weavers working with silk. The entire silk sector in Cambodia generates roughly US$25 million in turnover, and employs about 25,000 professionals.’’
Dr Sok Siphana, advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia said: “Our silk products are also attractive to tourists because they are hand-made.”
He added that silk was also an important employment opportunity for Cambodian women, helping to alleviate poverty in rural areas.
“Silk production is traditionally undertaken by women – 99.54 percent of the beneficiaries are women,” he said.
It is estimated that Cambodia consumes 400 tons per year of imported industrial white silk yarn for weaving, while it produces about three tons annually of high quality handmade golden silk.