Cambodia’s garment exports rise 24% to $10.25 billion

Cambodia earned $10.25 billion from exports of wearables – clothing, footwear and travel goods – in the January-September period this year, a 24% year-on-year increase, a report says. from the General Department of Customs and Excise yesterday.

Garment export is Cambodia’s largest foreign exchange earner, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the country’s total export value of $17.25 billion, according to the report.

The garment sector registered a significant increase in the first nine months of this year, thanks to the government’s vaccination campaign which controlled the Covid-19 pandemic, said Heng Sour, secretary of state and door. -speaker of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training.

“The increase in the number of factories, job creation and garment exports were due to the resumption of socio-economic activities resulting from the high vaccination rate of Covid-19 for people and workers in Cambodia”, Sour said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Lim Heng, vice president of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, said the government’s vaccination campaign led to the resumption of socio-economic activities, including factories whose production lines continued to operate during the period of pandemic.

“The government’s policy on vaccination against Covid-19 made Cambodia a hub in the production chain during Covid-19,” Heng said.

The Kingdom’s garment exports are expected to suffer in the final quarter of this year due to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war and rising global inflation, the Labor Ministry’s Sour said.

The Russian-Ukrainian war poses a risk to the global economy and it would affect Cambodia’s garment exports, Sour said.

“People are prioritizing money in gas, energy and electricity and cutting unnecessary spending, leading to lower orders for clothes, shoes and travel goods in overseas markets in fourth quarter,” Sour said.

“Reduced consumption of clothes, shoes and travel goods by people in Cambodia’s major markets has further affected brand owners’ orders, which is why exports are seeing a decline,” Sour said.

In August, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) expressed concern over a drop in purchase orders from Western countries for the second half of 2022.

“The unstable global situation and the likelihood of an economic slowdown mainly in Western countries have raised serious concerns about the export situation for the second half of the year,” said GMAC General Secretary Ken Loo.

The garment, footwear and travel goods industry is the largest source of foreign exchange for Cambodia. The sector consists of nearly 1,300 factories and branches, employing around 830,000 workers, mostly women.

According to the GDCE, the Kingdom’s exports of non-clothing products such as electronic components, wire harnesses, bicycles, auto parts, decorative lamps, wooden products, plastic products, processed animal skins and other products amounted to $4.18 billion, up 23.9% annually. – over a year, adds the report.

Agricultural products saw a 5.8% rise in exports worth $2.22 billion, the report said.

Cambodia’s total exports were valued at 17.25%, an increase of 22.1% year-on-year.

Michael O. Stutler