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Cambodian garment workers face layoffs due to COVID-19

30
Mar '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Thousands of Cambodian garment workers have lost their jobs as global markets contract and governments enact drastic measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. As the US and European economies are almost close to a halt now, Cambodian industry insiders recently cautioned that further downturns and job losses are inevitable in the country.

Fifty five factories in the country applied to suspend operations in early February due to a shortage of raw materials and textiles from China, affecting about 15,000 jobs, according to Ken Loo, secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC).

With Chinese supply gradually returning to normal, Loo said, 20 of those 55 suspended factories have now resumed operations.

However, he said the problem has now shifted from an issue of stalled supply from China to that of diminished demand from the West, with buyers cancelling orders, according to a Southeast Asian media outlet.

With the United States and the European Union being Cambodia’s largest export markets, the scale of the damage set to be inflicted by this emerging and evolving issue is still uncertain. But Loo expects “a lot more suspensions from factories due to the issue of demand”.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)


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