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Apparel exports witness increase in H1-2010
Jul '10
Exports of apparel from Cambodia has already increased to over 10 percent, recording over US $1.3 billion during the first half of 2010, as against the corresponding period last year. This is based on the figures released by the Ministry of Commerce (MoC).

But industry experts warned that, for non-stop growth in the sector, cheap labour would be required.

Ken Loo, Secretary General, Garment Manufacturers Association Cambodia, said that, Cambodia is at an advantage because apparel firms of various nations are leaving China, owing to increased labour cost. Cambodia now needs to be steady with its cheap labour, if it wants to continue earning profits.

Loo continued that, with the help of cheap labour, more investors can be drawn towards Cambodia. More so, higher minimum wage will adversely affect manufacturers and if the unions and workers continue with their demand for rise in wage, then apparel factories will not come to Cambodia.

Early this month, the Labour Advisory Committee hiked the per month minimum wage from $50 to $61. Loo avers that, so far, Cambodia was well placed to continue its upward movement on gains seen in the sector this year.

During the first half of this year, Cambodia exported $1.33 billion worth of garments, which is up by 10.29 percent from the $1.21 billion worth garments exported last year. Garment exports to US went up by 7.19 percent to $792.5 million, as recorded till the end of June.

More so, while Europe received more exports from Cambodia, up by 7.31 percent to $320 million during first half of the year, shipments to other foreign market hiked by 8.61 percent during the same period, recording $183.6 million.

Sok Sophea, Director General, International Trade Department, also warned hiking the minimum wage too quickly. He also informed that, Chinese investors might not come to Cambodia, incase they find Cambodian labour cost higher than others.

Apparel industry growth increased this year, owing to revival of the global consumption and also due to government's efforts for promoting goods from the industry. More over, as orders from buyers of each country increased, the sector too witnessed growth, informed Sophea.

Loo too agreed with Sophea's statements, that revival in world economy, was the key driving force behind increased shipments of exports. But he informed that exports yet had to reach the pre-crisis level. The industry, according to Loo, had still not met with the loss in orders it suffered in 2009.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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