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Walmart deal boosts garment industry

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Scott Price, CEO of Walmart Asia. Supplied

The US multinational Walmart has said it will buy more garment, footwear and luggage products from Cambodia next year due to increased capacity from suppliers and improved labour conditions in the country.

Scott Price, a senior executive at Walmart International, yesterday made the commitment at a meeting with Labour Minister Ith Samheng in Phnom Penh.

Mr Samheng said Walmart executives had told him they wanted to increase orders since they were happy with the quality of garment, footwear and luggage products bearing the “Made in Cambodia” label.

“After visiting Cambodia, Walmart understands the working conditions of factory staff and can see that we do not allow labour abuse,” he said.

“Factories also have the capacity to supply the products, so Walmart has decided to increase orders from Cambodia.”

Mr Samheng said Walmart is a big buyer of garment products from Cambodia, but declined to put a figure on the value of its business.

Walmart is a chain of large stores with branches in most US states.

Garment and footwear exports to the United States were valued at $3.7 billion in the first half of this year, up 6.9 percent, according to the Labour Ministry.

The US government last year granted duty-free benefits for Cambodia for the export of travel goods such as luggage, backpacks, handbags and wallets under the Generalised System of Preferences.

The monthly minimum wage for garment and footwear sector workers will increase to $170 from January.

According to the general department of customs and excise, garment and footwear exports increased to $7.3 billion in 2016, up by 7.2 percent on the previous year.

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