Cambodia’s garment and footwear exports last year increased by 24% as the global economy performed well, driving demand higher in export destinations, according to a National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) report.
The NBC’s 2018 report said the Kingdom’s garments and footwear exports were valued at US$ 10 billion, up 24% from US$ 8 billion in 2017. The growth rate in 2017 was just 7.6%. “The growth in the export of garment and footwear products is driven by the global economy performing better, especially in main export destinations such as the EU, which bought 46% of Cambodia’s total garment and footwear exports last year, the US – 24%, Canada – 9% and Japan – 8%,” the report said.
The value of apparel exports last year accounted for 74% of the Kingdom’s total exports. The sector employs about 800,000 workers. The Cambodian garment sector benefits from the EU’s Everything But Arms trade preferential treatment, but this may be removed this year. The bloc warned last October that Cambodia would lose its EBA status to penalise the government’s apparent move away from democracy.
Earlier this month, two US senators also introduced the Cambodian Trade Act of 2019 bill, requiring the administration to re-examine Cambodia’s eligibility to access the preferential trade treatment granted by the US under the Generalised System of Preferences.