Kong Sang, President of the Textile, Apparel, Footwear & Travel Goods Association in Cambodia – TAFTAC, said that as of August 11, Cambodia has 1,077 factories, of which 802 are garment factories, 140 produce footwear, and 134 make travel goods. Between them, the factories employ a total of 764,358 workers.

Kong Sang released the figures while he attended the August 11 2023 Business Forum organized by The Cambodia Oknha Association (COA), which was held to promote solidarity between the COA and the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), as well as strengthen cooperation with commercial ventures and embassy representatives to Cambodia.

TAFTAC released a statement via social media, saying Sang had highlighted the general challenges the garment, footwear, and travel goods sectors are facing, and proposed several solutions.

According to TAFTAC, the garment and travel goods sector still plays a vital role in the Cambodian economy. In 2022, the export value of the sector reached $12.5 billion, equal to nearly 60 per cent of the Kingdom’s total export value, and accounting for 10 per cent of the Cambodian economy.

It said in the first half of this year, exports had slipped 18 per cent compared to the same period last year due to the downturn of the global economy. It predicted that the situation will remain stable, without notable positive trends, due to the economic situation in the US and European countries.

To ensure its recovery and competitiveness, especially with Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, it is crucial that five challenges be solved. Labour and logistics costs, productivity, trade facilitation, taxes, investment and the development of the industry must all be addressed, along with social and environment sustainability, it explained.