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Chinese-owned Nike factory breaks ground in Phnom Penh

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:
An attendant walks around a store selling Nike products in Phnom Penh. KT/Mai Vireak

Shenzhou International Group on Wednesday held the groundbreaking ceremony for its second factory in Cambodia that will specialise in Nike products, bringing the company’s total investment in the Kingdom to $150 million.

The factory, named Shenzhou International Cambodian Marvel Garment, will be located at Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone in the outskirts of the capital, just 15 kilometres from the city’s international airport.

Shenzhou International Group is considered the largest vertically integrated knitwear manufacturer in China and has been producing for Nike in Cambodia since 2005.

Shenzhou chairman Ma Jianrong said the Kingdom has become a crucial production base for the company and for Nike.

“As an important cornerstone of overseas expansion, our group has focused on Cambodia since 2005. So far, it has developed into one of the most mature bases,” he said.

“After 14 years of operation, we deeply appreciate the support we have received from the Cambodian government and the dedication and humility of garment workers here.

He said the company’s confidence in the Kingdom’s market grows every year, adding that their expansion plans in Cambodia are in line with China’s Belt and Road Initiative and that they will help Cambodia play a bigger role in the region’s supply chains.

“We have seen good results in recent years, and buyers in the international market prefer us. It is because of your trust and support that we have made each other a reliable partner,” he told attending authorities.

“It is our belief that the development of Cambodia will help our customers and Shenzhou Group meet their goals, so we will continue to increase our investment here and strive to aid that development of this nation,” he added.

Lieutenant General Hun Manet, who presided over the ceremony, highlighted Cambodia’s investor-friendly policies, the country’s ideal location within the region, its cheap and young labour force, and the strong economic growth the country is experiencing.

“These and other factors are what attracts companies like Shenzhou to Cambodia. The partnership between Shenzhou and Nike has made Cambodia the main production and export base for Nike products.

“We are very proud of the success of this partnership and of the construction of a new factory that will increase production and create more jobs. I do believe that, with the support and encouragement from the government, the company will continue to grow their operations in Cambodia,” added Lt Gen Manet.

Mark Griffie, Nike vice-president, said since their partnership started 14 years ago, Shenzhou has grown to be one of Nike’s largest and most important apparel suppliers, with operations in three countries.

He said Nike received the first shipment from Shenzhou Cambodia in 2007.

“Our business together in Cambodia has grown tremendously and today more than 3,000 Shenzhou employees in Cambodia produce for Nike,” he said, adding that the majority of the Nike products manufactured here serves the company’s customers in Europe.

“Cambodia has been an important country for Shenzhou and for Nike. With the new factory that will be built on this site, we look forward to continuing growing together in Cambodia for many years to come,” he added.

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