Cambodia’s garment export sector is booming according to numbers recently released showing a healthy increase of 22 percent in the nation’s shipments of clothing to foreign customers from the first of the year through September.
The export data was reported by the Cambodian government’s Ministry of Finance.
Total value of the exported apparel during the nine-month period hit $4.1 billion, substantially higher than the previous period last year of$3.44.
As usual in recent years, the US was Cambodia’s best customer for their apparel, importing about $1.21 billion in goods.
Among Cambodia’s other significant apparel importers were the E.U., and other European countries, Canada, China, Japan and South Korea.
Apparel manufacturing is a major element in Cambodia’s economy, with more than 500 factories up and running and a labor force of more than half a million.
The entire garment sector represents roughly 80 percent of Cambodia’s total exports in all sectors, and its principal foreign exchange conduit.
Cambodian exports have been growing year by year, with 2011 exports valued at $4.24 billion. Exports for 2012 exceeded 2011 by 9 percent.
Cambodian garment exports now seem on track to surpass the country’s export numbers for the entire previous year in which they totaled $4.61 billion.
Cambodia is one of the latest countries of Southeast Asia to emerge as a major sourcing center as international firms send more business to that part of the world, attracted by low labor costs and a government and political environment hospitable to business.
Recent investors in the Cambodian garment industry include Australia, England, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and the US. The two biggest investors were China, pumping some $121 million into the garment sector, with Taiwan as runner-up, investing $112 million.