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Factories echo GMAC’s appeal for rent relief amid pandemic

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Factory for rent along Duong Neap street in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Factories yesterday expressed their support to the Garment Manufacturing Association in Cambodia in their appeal for lower rental fees within a period of three to six months.

GMAC on Friday sent a letter addressed to landlords who lease their premises to garment, factory and travel bag factories, asking for consideration as owners grapple with the economic costs of the coronavirus.

Kong Sambat, chief of administration of SEPIA garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district, yesterday seconded GMAC’s appeal, saying factory owners this time are left strapped for money to pay for their rental fees.

“Should building owners agree to reduce rental fees, it will greatly benefit factory owners who are facing economic difficulties due to COVID-19,” he said.

Meanwhile, another chief of administration Chhun Peng Leang for the T&L factory in the capital’s Kamboul district said yesterday although the factory can still afford this month’s rent, it may face difficulties in fulfilling its rental obligations in the coming months.

He said if landowners decide to lower rental fees, the move will help in allowing factories to continue operations and prevent more factory workers from getting furloughed.

“Our factory also plans on asking the landlord to reduce rental fee since it will be especially difficult for us to keep up with the costs if the COVID-19 crisis continues in the next months,” said Mr Peng Leang.

On Friday, GMAC, in a statement said garment, footwear and travel bag industries are three of the hardest-hit sectors in the Kingdom amid the pandemic. Some 180 factories have suspended their production, with 60 more in the pipeline, due to their inability to cover operational costs as their incomes plummet.

GMAC said rental fees pose significant burdens for its members, which are suffering from order cancellations, raw materials shortage, as well as other costs.

The garment industry group appealed to all landowners leasing their properties to consider reducing rental fees by at least 30 percent for three to six months.

“Such reduction will help ease the financial burden of factories and contribute to the economic recovery of Cambodia,” the statement said.

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