Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM: Manufacturing, garment exports up 13.5%, after plunge

PM: Manufacturing, garment exports up 13.5%, after plunge

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia exported $9.50171 billion worth of garments – including apparel, footwear and bags – in 2020, marking a 10.44 per cent plunge compared to $10.60986 billion in 2019, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Hean Rangsey

PM: Manufacturing, garment exports up 13.5%, after plunge

Garment and manufacturing exports have risen by 13.5 per cent over the same time in 2020 – following a 20 per cent contraction from 2019 – buoyed by favourable arrangements with trading partners and a shift of orders from Myanmar and Vietnam to Cambodia, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen on December 16.

The prime minister was speaking at the opening of a plenary session of the Council of Ministers.

He argued that manufacturing production saw no major interruptions during Covid-19, and that the industry continued to show its potential value throughout the crisis, which he said made it and garments a favourite of trading partners.

He said that as buyers steered orders away from Myanmar and Vietnam to the Kingdom, “our factories remained fully operational, as workers also got to do overtime work”, which also triggered an upsurge in imports and exports of raw materials for production.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika told The Post on December 16 that exports of leather apparel and travel goods had logged a considerable jump this year.

Broken down by segment, exports of clothing, footwear and travel goods in January-September respectively rose by five per cent, 15 per cent and 30 per cent year-on-year, he said.

“In general, garments are low-growth products, and Cambodia needs to be very competitive with other countries, especially Bangladesh and Vietnam,” Monika said, noting that exports of travel goods, in particular, are driven by duty-free access to the US.

“Compared to last year, the health of the Cambodian garment sector has improved in 2021 due to stable production, leading to an increase in exports, as orders for this year also recorded gains over a year earlier,” he added.

Cambodia exported $9.50171 billion worth of garments – including apparel, footwear and bags – in 2020, marking a 10.44 per cent plunge compared to $10.60986 billion in 2019, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The government has pegged the Kingdom’s economic growth at three per cent for 2021, whereas the World Bank earlier this month presented a less rosy figure of 2.2 per cent.

The Washington-based multilateral lender contended that the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth would be impeded by slow growth in services including tourism, and in construction and real estate.

It highlighted that other traditional growth drivers, especially the garment, travel goods, footwear and bicycle manufacturing industries, as well as agriculture, are underpinning the economic recovery.

Despite recovery in manufacturing exports and expansion of agricultural commodity exports, the trade deficit has widened significantly, it said, attributing the trend to rising imports of a few items, especially gold, used for savings.

According to the World Bank, Cambodia’s growth outlook is expected to continue to recover as Covid-19-related restrictions are lifted. Growth is projected to reach 4.5 per cent next year, it said, but noted that any renewed spread of the virus could put the recovery at risk.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio