The Minister of Commerce has called on Adidas and H&M, the biggest global apparel and textile product buyers to continue ordering garment product from Cambodia.
The call was made during a meeting between Minister Pan Sorasak and representatives from Adidas led by Matthew Armstrong and Christer Horn af Aminne, H&M’s production manager in charge of Cambodia and Vietnam on Tuesday.
In the meeting, the Minister informed the companies about the government’s policy to diversify the markets by preparing bilateral free trade agreement with many countries.
“We would like to ask the companies to join the government to support the Kingdom’s garment sector after the end of COVID-19,” the minister said.
During a press conference at the Office of the Council of Ministers, municipal labour department director Choun Vuthy said out of the 706 garment factories in Phnom Penh, 121 have temporarily halted operations due to a raw materials crunch and production setbacks experienced amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The suspended factories left hundreds of thousand of workers unemployed and effected millions of families. The government has provided $40 in wage support for unemployed workers.
While already facing hardship from the pandemic spread, which has seen orders cancelled, Cambodia’s garment sector will enter another crisis of losing 20 percent of the EU’s Everything But Arm scheme next August.
GMAC, the Cambodia Footwear Association (CFA) and the European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (EuroCham) earlier this month requested the EU to postpone its partial withdrawal of the EBA for 12 months because the COVID-19 pandemic has halted production and slowed global demand to a crawl, delivering a devastating blow to the country’s apparel, footwear and travel goods manufacturers and workers.