The Garment Manufacturers Association (GMAC) in Cambodia has reiterated an appeal to buyers to source their goods from Cambodia as the economic situation becomes worse with nearly 200 factories suspending their operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an open letter released yesterday, GMAC said it has received commitments from only some buyers since its first appeal to buyers on April 2.
However, it said the situation is becoming worse globally and local manufacturers are already suffering from many cancellations, no new orders and cannot withstand any payment defaults.
“We understand the difficulties that buyers are facing but strongly appeal to all of you to honour your payments for goods already received and are in transit to you,” the letter read. It added that payment terms can be put on the table for discussion but no payment is not acceptable.
“Therefore, we appeal to your sense of decency to make good on your debt,” the letter added, stressing that products were shipped in good faith and GMAC’s members shall be paid what they are owed and anything less would not be fair.
GMAC pointed out that 180 factories have suspended their operations with 60 more in the pipeline affecting more than 150,000 workers now out of work without a clear indication when they can return.
“[Payment defaults] will affect not only the workers but also the 2 million Cambodian family members who depend on them,” the letter said.
Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said last week that for the second quarter of
the year, garment and footwear exports will expect to see a 50 to 60 percent decline from last year.
“Cambodia has yet to receive any orders from buyers for both May and June, as well as for the foreseeable future. We can conclude that exports of garments and footwear will be hit hard in the second quarter this year,” he said.
The EU and US are major market destinations for the Kingdom’s garment exports, and both have been severely affected by the global pandemic as their markets continue to close and residents are no longer spending money.