20 August 2009 | Source: just-style.com
Cambodia’s textile and garment exports continued to fall during the first half this year as the country was hit by both the global economic crisis and its internal instability.
According to a statistics released by Cambodian Commerce Ministry, textile and garment exports fell 18% year-on-year to US$1.27bn.
Shipments to most major markets tumbled, including the US – its largest export customer – down 30%, Canada down 13% and the EU down 5% in comparison with the same period last year.
As well as the global economic crisis, which has led retailers and importers to rein in their buying, Cambodia’s industry has struggled with internal unrest, including strikes and demonstrations, customs inefficiencies, a poorly trained workforce, and the high price of electricity.
The Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) is worried that Cambodian textile and garment products are now more expensive than key competitors like China, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
And it fears this is why products have been losing market share in the US and EU.
Local experts, however, suggest Cambodian exporters have not made the most of benefits under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) and Most Favoured Nation (MFN) programs.
Around 100 textile and garment factories have closed their doors due to a lack of export orders, the Cambodian Labour Confederation currently reports.
And earlier this month, the Commerce Ministry estimated that textile and garment exports will fall by 30% in 2009.