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US urged to grant duty-free access to Cambodian garments
Sep '11
US Government has been urged to grant Cambodian garments a duty-free access in the US market by Minister of Commerce, Cham Prasidh. Cambodia enjoys a similar benefit with the European Union.

He said that if the US Government allows such duty-free access for Cambodian exports, the Kingdom's contribution to the US's garment market would grow by almost two-fold from present two percent to four percent.

Referring to the World Trade Organization's Doha round of negotiations, he said while Cambodia is exerting to sustain and boost its garment exports to the US, the Government is still struggling with the US administration and trying to push it to abide by the promise of allowing duty-free access to Cambodian goods that they made during the Doha meetings.

The Minister said that the Kingdom presently ships garment items worth around two billion USD to the US, which constitutes 60 percent of the overall garment exports from the Kingdom.

He said that in spite of Cambodia shipping sizeable amount of goods to the US, it is subjected to taxes at the same high levels as is charged from bigger countries like the UK and France.

While the US has allowed preferential access to 95 percent of exports from African countries, it is hesitant to give preferential export tariffs to Cambodia, the Minister said.

In the given situation, the Minister added, Cambodia is considering China, the world's second largest economy, as an alternative garment export destination and is shifting its focus towards it.

He said that the US may lack the buying power, but China has much of it and hence it is a comparatively safer market. The Government is presently carrying on negotiations to earn a duty free access for its garment exports to China.

He asked the domestic firms to set up outlets in China to sell their Cambodia made products there.

China purchases products not for its domestic consumption but to re-export the same, as such the garments would still be manufactured in Cambodia but would be vended from China, the Minister opined.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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