Cambodia’s exports through three Special Economic Zones in Svay Rieng province, which shares a border with Vietnam, have recorded a $237 million rise in the first quarter of 2020.
Despite the global economic shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, from January to March, Tai Seng-Bavet Special Economic Zone – which has 32 factories and one dry port – posted more than $44 million in export values, an increase of 76 per cent over the same period last year.
Also reporting an increase is the Manhattan Special Economic Zone. When compared to the same period in 2019, it recorded trade volumes worth over $54 million, representing a 19 percent increase. The zone boasts a total of 31 factories situated across 300 hectares of land.
Giga Resources Special Economic Zone had the most dramatic increase. Its exports to the international market in the first three months of 2020 was valued at $1.5 million, an impressive 227.31 percent hike on last year’s figures. The zone features 15 factories and companies. A further five factories are under construction.
Goods and products manufactured at the three zones include garments, bicycles, electric bikes, footwear and travel goods. Current market destinations are the U.S, Canada, the European Union, Africa continent, Japan, Korea and China.
But it was a markedly different story for Chinese-owned Qilu Jian Pu Zhai Special Economic Zone, the fourth industrial park located in the province. Its trade values dropped by nearly 40 percent to $2.7 million. The Special Economic Zone, which has 10 factories, of which one is suspended and another is under construction, exports similar products to the other three, but Seang Thay, under-secretary of state and Commerce Ministry spokesman, said he could not explain the disparity because he has yet to see the full financial reports.
“As far as I know, all of their [Qilu Jian Pu Zhai’s] buyers are still fulfilling their purchase contracts, so their exporting activity hasn’t been affected,” he told Khmer Times on Wednesday.
Many economists warned that the health crisis will eventually result in a global supply-and-demand shock, which will badly affect mostly developing countries because they import materials and export finished products.
In a joint statement, nine business associations in the Sustainable Textile of Asian Region Network, including Cambodia, are calling on buyers to honour their contracts with their suppliers.
They called for brands and retailers to take delivery and pay under already agreed terms for goods completed or already in production.
“During this unprecedented time of global outbreak of COVID-19, responsible business has become more important than ever for the whole world to survive and recover from the crisis,” the statement said.