Archive for December 2nd, 2008

The Fate of the Garment Sector in Cambodia in 2009 Is Not Yet Clear- Monday, 1.12.2008

Posted on 2 December 2008. Filed under: Week 589 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 589

“No one knows the fate of the garment sector in Cambodia in 2009 well; some said that it will be good, while some said that it will be bad if the world still suffers from a financial crisis.
“The president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, Mr. Chea Mony, said on 27 November 2008 that he cannot forecast the situation of the Cambodia garment sector for 2009, but he said that this sector will not be severely affected.
“He added, ‘I cannot forecast, but so far, the garment sector of Cambodia does not yet have problems.’
“He went on to say that so far, the financial crisis is spreading, but good companies still place buying orders in Cambodia.
“Regarding the same problem, Mr. Chuon Momthol, the president of the League of Cambodian Trade Unions, said on the same day that if the financial crisis still continues, the fate of the Cambodian garment sector will be seriously affected, because most of the big markets for Cambodia are also the root causes of the crisis. He continued to say that now, the big markets for the garment industry in Cambodia are the United States and Europe; therefore, if these countries are affected, their citizens will stop buying, and we will be affected.

“He continued, ‘During the three month since the spreading of the crisis started, I received information that 101 small and big factories closed temporarily, and some had closed permanently because they did not have any buying orders. He added that among all factories, some have between 5,000 and 10,000 workers.

“Mr. Chea Mony seems to have different information and ideas from Mr. Thol, as he says that so far, 30 factories have closed, and there are up to 60 new factories. This is a positive sign.
“He added, ‘If the Cambodian garment sector were affected, why would the number of factories increase from more than 400 to more than 500 at present?’
“He went on to say that 29 big companies continue to have contracts to buy garment products from Cambodia, and moreover, recently some factories relocated from Vietnam and from Thailand to Cambodia.
“He continued that in Cambodia, factories will not easily close, because Cambodia is one of the Least Developed Countries that produces garments for the rich countries; as for other countries like Thailand, Malaysia, or Vietnam, they seems to have less interest in the garment sector, because they are concentrating on other [higher valued] products.

“An official of the Garment Manufacturers’ Association in Cambodia, [the External Affairs Manager] Mr. Kaing Monika, said on 28 November 2008 that the Association worries because of this crisis. The influence of the global financial crisis exists, and recently, the Association heard that many shops selling garments, both wholesale and retail, in the United States, started to close, and the future of buying orders is no longer clear.’
“He added that ‘generally, in previous years at this point of time, we saw that there were buying orders until May and June, but now, there are buying orders only to January and February.’
“He went on to say that in September and October, our garment factories did not face a crisis, but now, since November, the crisis started gradually.
“Relating to the closing of factories, he said that he does not have the numbers, because some factories are not members of the Association; however, some factories have closed.
“He pointed out, ‘The Association had 310 factories as members, but when we met at the Ministry of Commerce recently, only 285 factories were left.’
“So far, there are two types of factories, and most of the factories registered in the Association are factories that produce garments for direct export, while other factories are subcontracting factories.
“By October 2008, the export rate of garment products of Cambodia reached US$2,1 billion, but it dropped by about 1% compared to the same period in 2007.”Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4756, 30-1.11-12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 1 December 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1808, 30-1.11-12.2008

  • Is Sam Rainsy Softening His Position, after Returning from Meeting the Great Heroic King in Beijing [he told reporters that his party, the Sam Rainsy Party, is following the decision of the Great Heroic King to practice the one-China-policy]
  • [Around 50] Olympic Market Vendors Ask for Intervention from the Prime Minister while the Municipality Is Removing Their Stalls
  • Two Women Were Raped [by 12 youth, 4 of them were arrested – Kandal]
  • [Indian Prime Minister] Mr. Singh: Terrorists in Mumbai Are from Outside of the Country [from Pakistan – according to the admission of an arrested terrorist]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #294, 30-2.11-12.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Son Chhay Adds up Billions of Dollars of Foreign Debt Owed by Cambodia [according to an official report from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the debt amounts to approximately US$3,500,000,000,000 since 1993 to 2006]
  • [The Phnom Penh police chief] Touch Naruth Should Be Recalled from His Position, as There Were Robberies Killing Many People in Phnom Penh

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6513, 1.12.2008

  • The Ministry of Public Security of China Provides US$300,000 to the [Cambodian] Ministry of Interior to Strengthen the Security Sector in Cambodia
  • Japan Is the Third Market for Cambodian Garment Products [spending around US$20 million each year to buy garment products from Cambodia]
  • The Ministry of Tourism Classifies the Sokha Hotel in Sihanoukville [of Oknha Sok Kong] as a Five Star Hotel
  • Mumbai Brought a Bad Dream to an End after Killing the Last [three] Terrorists in the Taj Mahal Hotel [on 29 November 2008 – 195 people died, 19 of them were foreigners]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4756, 30-1.11-12.2008

  • The Fate of the Garment Sector in Cambodia in 2009 Is Not Yet Clear
  • Thailand Is the Seventh Dangerous Country of the World [for travelers, after Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechenia, South Africa, Somalia, and Sudan – according the Telegraph of England]; Big Demonstration between Red-Shirt [pro-government] Group and Yellow-Shirt [anti-government] Group Will Happen Today [nearly 100,000 foreign tourists are stuck in Thailand]
  • Norway Tells Cambodia of the Opportunity to Receive Technical Assistance Worth US$20 Million for the Oil Sector
  • The Closure of Airports in Thailand Is the Reason that Tourists Who Miss Their Travel Connection Demand Compensation from [foreign] Airlines in Cambodia [there are no Cambodian airlines]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3448, 30-1.11-12.2008

  • Cambodian Government Officials React to Global Witness’s Statement [Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith reacted, ‘It always stands against the government, because it is angry with the government that stopped its work as forest monitor…’ – while the first vice president of the National Assembly from the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Cheam Yeap, said, ‘Global Witness, based in London, does not love Khmers like Khmers ourselves do. It just stated supporting ideas of the Sam Rainsy Party…’] – [See, however, also the reference to the statement of Global Witness in the last editorial]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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