The exports of apparel earned US$ 5.52 billion for the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia in 2013, registering a rise of sharp 20 percent over $4.61 billion exports made in 2012, reports xinhuanet.com, citing data from the Ministry of Commerce.
Cambodian garment exports to the US increased by 7.6 percent year-on-year to $2.12 billion during the 12-month period, whereas exports to the EU jumped by 28 percent year-on-year to $2 billion and to other countries by 32 percent year-on-year to $1.41 billion.
The Ministry of Commerce attributed the rise in garment exports to an increase in buying orders and inflow of more investment in the clothing sector.
In late December 2013, Cambodian garment industry was forced to remain shut for about 10 days, following six trade bodies-- C.Cawdu, Niftuc, CUMW, FTUWKC, CCU and CATU—demanding raising the minimum wage of workers to $160 per month.
The strike ended after the Government issued a temporary ban on all forms of demonstrations and garment units reopened on January 6 this year.
The new wage structure, offering $100 monthly minimum wage, including a $5 health bonus, would be implemented from this month in Cambodia.
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.