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Prospects for the textile and clothing industry in Cambodia, 2018
published in Issue 38, March 2018
The textile and clothing industry fulfils a crucial role in Cambodia's economy. Indeed, the clothing industry in particular represents Cambodia's largest manufacturing sector, and directly employs over 500,000 people. Furthermore it is Cambodia's largest source of foreign exchange, and in recent years clothing exports have accounted for as much as two-thirds of the country's total exports. The clothing industry benefits considerably from Cambodia's status as a least developed country (LDC) as this provides it with duty-free and quota-free access to the major global markets. It also benefits from an abundant supply of low cost labour in the country, and the Cambodian government has implemented policies which are aimed at attracting substantial foreign direct investment (FDI). Despite these advantages, however, the textile and clothing industry in Cambodia is heavily dependent on imports of textiles and this represents a major weakness. Also, the industry is limited mainly to low added value cut, make and trim (CMT) operations. Looking to the future, there are opportunities for Cambodia's clothing industry to move away from CMT operations and produce items with greater added value. There are also opportunities for building strong relationships with new and existing trading markets, and there are high hopes for increased business within Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries. This report looks at the development of the textile and clothing industry in Cambodia and its size and structure, and features: a geographical, political and economic profile; a detailed look at the country's imports and exports; a review of government policies and investment incentives; an analysis of the industry's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT); and an examination of Cambodia's infrastructure and human resources and how these affect the industry.
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