The Cambodian textile and apparel industry enjoyed a seven per cent rise in exports in 2015 and a similar increase is expected in the current year. This growth rate is among the highest recorded in the Asian continent. The local textile and apparel industry generates more than seven lakh jobs in 1,200 workshops. It accounts for 80 per cent of Cambodia’s total exports and contributes a third of gross domestic product. The industry uses as raw material cloth imported mainly from other Asian countries. It continues to attract foreign direct investment.
The country’s clothing and footwear exports in 2015 reached a value of $6.3 billion, compared to $5.8 billion a year earlier. It was a 7.6 per cent rise, a welcome acceleration after a slow first half of the year, though still below the 9.6 per cent growth recorded between 2013 and 2014. Footwear by itself posted a 21.8 per cent rise, with $538 million worth of goods exported.
Europe remained Cambodia’s main market. The US is the country’s second biggest market. Duty-free access to the European Union continues supporting the clothing industry, whatever the sharp increase of labor costs in the last few years.