The Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation (MISTI) has reported that 77 new factories opened in Cambodia in the first three months of 2020, employing a total of 27,909 workers.
Of the 77 production centres, some 74 registered with MISTI, one registered with the municipality of Phnom Penh and two factories restarted production lines after a hiatus.
Textiles, travel bags and shoes are produced at a majority of the factories (34), while food, beverages and tobacco are the products being sent to market from six further factories. The processing of metal, rubber and plastic are undertaken in several of the remaining 37 businesses.
Offsetting these new openings is the closure of six factories during the same period Q1 period, which saw 6,052 workers lose their jobs. These are separate to the factories, predominantly garments and textiles, whose production lines have been temporarily halted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking earlier this week, MISTI’s secretary of state, Heng Sokkung said that the new factories will “will help Cambodia’s mission to diversify from its main exports of textiles, garments and shoes towards high-added value goods”. Some of these high-added value goods include travel bags and tobacco.
Heng also highlighted the fact that supply chains to many of the Kingdom’s operational factories are now running smoothly with raw material imports from China no longer suffering interruptions caused by the effects of COVID-19.
Cambodia exported garment products, footwear and travel goods valued at $9,325 billion in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 11 percent, according to the Ministry of Industry. As of Q1 2020, around 1,801 factories employed about 1,063,031 under the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation.