Cambodia's Industries Update

cambodia garment and textile cambodia tourism

Garment industry

Cambodia's garment exports face a huge decline, according to Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce. Garment exports generated only US$70 million in January 2009, compared with $250 million in January 2008. Garment manufacturing, Cambodia's only significant export industry, has been the hardest hit sector in the developing country's economy during the global financial downturn, with more than 30 factories closing so far this year.

According to the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, its garment industry imported US$1 billion in raw materials last year.  This led to calls for more local production to cut costs and improve access to Western markets.  The association said 66% of garment compoenents were imported from China, while the rest were from Taiwan and South Korea.  Despite these calls for localization, little has happened.

According to a report from the World Bank, Cambodia's garment exports to the United States dropped by about 35% while exports to Europe were down by about 10%. More than 30,000 garment factory workers lost their jobs in the past 12 months.

Tourism Industry

For January 2009, tourist arrivals dropped 2.2%. Cambodia received around 2 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2008, a 5.5% rise over 2007, but slightly lower than the government's expectation, according to official figures.

Xinhua news reported recently that Cambodia has asked the U.S. to provide some help to boost its tourism sector, one of the kingdom's pillar industries. Tourism Minister Thong Khon made this request while meeting with U.S. Ambassador Carol Rodley in China in March 2009.  Cambodia expects the U.S. to help Cambodia establish a training school of vocational skills and promote its eco-tourism, especially in face of the global financial crisis, said the minister.  Ambassador Rodley expressed her support of the idea, saying that she will relay the message to the U.S. government in order to help Cambodia develop its human resources in the tourism sector and push forward its eco-tourism efforts.

Power export by 2016

Lack of cheap dependable power, has long been a negative for Cambodia's efforts to expand its export industries. The Phnom Penh Post reported that this situation will soon change.  According to the article, Cambodia would start to export electricity in 2016 following the completion of a series of hydropower dams in the west and northeast.  Ith Praing, Secretary of State for Industry, said the country would sell 1,000 megawatts in 2016, increasing in subsequent years as further dams were completed.  Cambodia is expected to be self-reliant by 2012, said the paper

Internet Services

Recently, Chuan Wei (Cambodia) Co., Ltd. announced it hoped to provide internet services to 80% of Cambodian businesses and organizations within 2 years of the planned launch in mid-2009 of a WiMax wireless broadband network.  It estimated one million potential customers for the service, reported the Phnom Penh Post.

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