The exports of garment and footwear from the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia has fetched US$ 5.07 billion by November this year, showing a year-on-year increase of 22 percent, the data from the Ministry of Commerce showed, The Phnom Penh Post reported.
The huge increase in exports was due to notable year-on-year increases in Cambodia’s garments and footwear exports to the US and the EU, its two main destinations.
Cambodia’s garment exports to the EU surged by 33 percent year-on-year to US$ 1.81 billion during the first 11 months of 2013, while those to the US increased by 9 percent year-on-year to US$ 1.96 billion.
The value of garment exports from Cambodia to other countries, including Japan and South Korea, also registered a sharp 31 percent year-on-year increase during the 11-month period.
Meanwhile, the country’s garment sector have resorted to a nationwide strike demanding higher wages than the US$ 15 per month announced by the Ministry of Labour earlier this week.
In response to the labour unions demanding that the minimum wage should be doubled to US$ 160 per month, the Labour Advisory Committee, under the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, decided to double the minimum wage over the next five years period.
The garment sector is the main foreign exchange earner for Cambodia, accounting for about 80 percent of the country’s overall exports. It employs over 300,000 workers, with more than 90 percent of them being female.
In 2012, Cambodia exported apparels worth US$ 4.61 billion, registering a growth of nine percent compared to exports of US$ 4.24 billion made in 2011.