Cambodia’s garment and footwear exports last year were worth $10 billion, a 24 per cent rise over the 2017 figures of $8 billion, according to a National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) report. The growth rate in 2017 was just 7.6 per cent. A better-performing global economy drove demand higher in export destinations like the European Union (EU), it remarked.
The EU bought 46 per cent of Cambodia’s total garment and footwear exports last year, the United States bought 24 per cent, Canada 9 per cent and Japan 8 per cent, a Cambodian newspaper reported citing the document.
Cambodian Labour Confederation president Ath Thorn was sceptical of growth figure cited by the national bank, saying he doubts the figure reflects reality.
“The number of workers [in the sector] did not jump significantly, overtime work was also not much and there were also some factories that closed. So, the sector’s exports should not be that big. It makes more sense that it grew at a similar pace as previous years,” he was quoted as saying.