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All is not well in the garment sector as exports drop by 50 percent in second trimester

A group of all female garment worker leave their factory after work. KT/Pann Rachana

Cambodia’s exports of garment and footwear products are expected to drop from 50 to 60 percent due to the impact of COVID-19 crisis during the second trimester of 2020.

The update was provided by Heng Suor, Spokesperson and Secretary of State at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.

He added that during the first trimester of this year, the exports from this industry was about 80 percent of the exports made during the same period in 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic started to noticeably hit the European Union and the United States of America, Cambodia’s biggest markets for its products in February.

From mid to late April, about 10 factories suspended their operation due to Covid-19, hurting over 6,000 jobs, while from January to March, a total of about 130 factories suspended their operations, affecting about 100,000 workers.

During this period, the workers are entitled to $70 each, comprising $40 from the Royal Government and $30 from their factory.

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) is calling on all stakeholders to work together and not to “give up on Cambodia”.

“The current global pandemic Covid-19 has brought chaos to all our lives and businesses,” a GMAC statement in late March said. “To overcome this critical situation, GMAC would like to appeal to all stakeholders to join hands so that we can all survive together. Lim Nary/AKP/EcoTextile

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