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Clothing exporters urge buyers to maintain order levels
24
Sep '09
A buyer's meet was held in Phnom Penh in this week. At the meeting, the garment manufacturers and trade unions urged the clothing retailers to maintain their volume of orders, in the backdrop of a decline of 25 percent in export orders in the current year.

Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) requested the overseas apparel brands to maintain the momentum of orders in view of the initiatives taken by the sector to improve labour standards under the guidance of International labour Organisation (ILO).

However, a senior official of GMAC conceded that, a bigger concern of the retailers was that Cambodia was proving to be very costly in terms of per unit cost pricing and are expensive when compared with other cost competitive countries like China and Vietnam.

The official acknowledged the fact that countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam had fared better in the last one year and their exports of apparels had not plunged to levels reached by Cambodia. Cambodian exports of apparels to the US have plummeted by 31 percent, y-o-y.

One of the biggest clothing buyers of Cambodian manufactured clothing; GAP, has reduced orders in the last one year, but the sourcing manager for GAP, said that, they were determined to place more orders with apparel producers.

Ath Thun, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU), urged buyers to increase purchases from Cambodia even if they are sometimes more expensive, citing the attractions of the Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) standard.

The GMAC official added by saying that, with Christmas around the corner, and the time when orders reach their peak, orders in the last quarters should go up, subject to that the retailers expect their markets to turn positive around Christmas.

Earlier in the month of May, the Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh publicly raised the possibility of reassessing the scheme, if as a result of supporting the ILO labour practices, there are fewer purchase orders and less business for Cambodian exporters.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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