Cambodia’s non-garment manufacturing exports have increased significantly, reflecting the country’s success in diversifying its export portfolio away from textiles, said a senior official.
The Kingdom exports a wide range of non-garment manufacturing products, including electronic components, bicycles, auto parts, furniture, leather, plastic, and other industrial products.
The country’s key exports fell in the first four months of this year due to an economic slowdown in its major markets.
According to a report from the General Department of Customs and Excise, Cambodia’s garment exports decreased by 28 percent year-on-year to $1,394 million in four months. Travel goods exports also decreased by 23 percent to $515 million, while footwear exports fell by 23 percent to $436 million.
However, the export of non-garment manufacturing products increased during the period, with electrical machinery and equipment and parts exports rising by 94 percent to $979 million. This accounted for about 14 percent of the total export of $7,234 million.
Heng Sokkung, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation, said that non-garment manufacturing exports have significantly increased in the last couple of years, outpacing the growth of garment manufacturing exports.
“The Cambodian Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025 has boosted investment in technology in the production chains, and we have seen an instant increase in the export of non-garment manufacturing products,” Sokkung told Khmer Times yesterday.
He said that there is good momentum to develop labour-intensive industries into skills- or technology-based industries.
The Ukraine war slowed down world economic growth and adversely affected exporting countries like Cambodia in sectors such as garments, footwear, and travel goods, he added.
Last week, Penn Sovicheat, Undersecretary of State and Spokesman at the Ministry of Commerce, said that the country continues to receive purchase orders, which gives hope that exports will increase in 2023.
“The war slowed down global economic growth and reduced consumer spending, leading to declining orders for Cambodia. However, purchase orders remain high, giving hope for an increase in exports by the end of the year, Sovicheat told Khmer Times.
Prime Minister Hun Sen recently called for high-end technology investments in Cambodia.
“Cambodia’s industrial policy is to add value to the national economy and people’s incomes by developing the country’s existing raw material processing industry, such as cashew, rubber, and rice. We welcome investment in this sector, especially if it uses high technology,” the Prime Minister said during the official inauguration of a Chinese-owned $300 million tire factory at Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone in Preah Sihanouk province earlier this week.
The non-garment products are mostly produced by factories in special economic zones. The main markets for non-garment products are the EU, US, Japan, Korea, and Thailand.
Last year, the country’s total export amounted to $22.5 billion, up by around 16 percent from the previous year.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.