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Garment industry needs to improve quality - GMAC
Dec '08
Even though, Prime Minister Hun Sen sounded upbeat during the summit of trade leaders from the world's poorest countries held in Siem Reap, and said that the garment sector will not be seriously impacted by the global financial crisis; however, Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) is not so sure.

According to PM, factories should focus on cheaper garments and the country can continue to sell if they are marketed properly. "At this point, I think that there has been no serious impact on the garment sector” said Hun Sen.

GMAC is worried about the decreasing export orders, continuous closures of factories and retrenchment of workers.

Even, Clothing demand has fallen sharply in the US as financial difficulties are forcing consumers to cut back on nonessential purchases.

In this context, while speaking to Fibre2fashion, Mr Cheat Khemara Senior Labour Officer, GMAC said, “Due to finacial problem in US, garment export of our country is facing tough time. There is a major cut down in the export order. Every year between November to May, we have peak season for export order. But this year there is 70 percent drop export orders compared to last year.”

“Manufacturing factories are in a dire state. Many are facing problem as they have to finish orders, send shipments and they have to wait three months to receive payments. Inability to sustain the current pressure, more than 30 garments factories have been closed this year.”

Discussing the corrective measures, Mr Khemara, suggested, “To bring back the situation to normal, union leaders and workers have to work in amicably, without raising further issues. Even factories need to improve quality of garments, at the same time they will have to increase quantity of the total production.

“Even Government has to take some steps to help factory owners and should find good solution so that more export orders can be fetched from different countries apart from the US.”

Available statistics show that Cambodia's export garment market is worth nearly $3.6 billion a year.

Data released by US Department of Commerce, Cambodian garment exports to the US, totaled to $1.8 billion in the first nine months of 2008, slightly down from the same period the previous year.

Garment industry is considered as one of the pillars of Cambodian economy, providing 80 percent of its foreign exchange and employing more than 300,000 people.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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