The possible removal of Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade scheme with the EU will affect some companies, but the “world is huge”, says Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) president, Jack Chen.
“Cambodia attracts investors for three reasons – cheap labour, good tariff policies and free duties to the EU market. If the EBA is suspended, some enterprises will be affected, but not by much.
“The products made in the Kingdom are sold not only to Europe but also to China, the US and Japan. Therefore, [the scheme’s withdrawal] will not have much effect as the world is huge,” he said, during a briefing with Cambodian journalists visiting China.
Chen is also the vice-president of Hodo Group, a Wuxi-based company which has a garment factory in the SSEZ, employing about 800 workers.
He said Hodo Group has a backup plan should the EBA scheme be withdrawn.
“By increasing output and production capabilities, companies can solve problems. In other words, companies lean towards efficiency,” Chen said.
The SSEZ was established in 2007 and sits on an 11.13sq km plot, the zone houses 130 multi-national companies and employs some 21,000 workers.