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Cambodian garment factory owners warn of falling productivity

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) claims falling productivity levels and rising infrastructure costs in the Kingdom’s garment sector could put the country at a disadvantage with its neighbouring competitors.

A statement released by the association said labour productivity in the garment and footwear sector fell 14 per cent between 2011 and 2014, according to March data from the International Labour Organization. GMAC then claimed the decline appeared to have continued into 2016.

When asked how GMAC reached that conclusion, Secretary General Ken Loo said that they don’t see any improvements or significant changes in the industry. But he acknowledged there was no data yet to show a continuation of the decline.

GMAC said it has been in talks with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training to launch a campaign to improve labour productivity in the sector, which employs roughly 700,000 workers.

Meanwhile, Miguel Chanco, lead ASEAN analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, said Cambodia losing business to its low-cost competitors was a threat. GMAC in its statement also said the sector continued to battle with rising infrastructure costs, such as electricity and transportation, forcing factories to look elsewhere.

 
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