Despite months of unrest among garment workers over too-low wages, Cambodia’s total number of registered garment factories is up 8 percent.
According to the Phnom Penh Post, garment factories in the country totaled 1,200 at the end of June, an 8 percent increase over six months prior.
The industry report, released by Cambodia’s Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, also noted that employment in the sector is up, with 733,300 workers employed as of the end of June, compared to 677,600 at the end of 2013.
Mean Sophea, undersecretary of state at the Ministry said, “It is a good sign for the industry,” the Phnom Penh Post reported. Sophea did not comment on the sector’s recent strife, which turned deadly in January when military forces killed five protesters and wounded at least 40.
Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) Secretary General Ken Loo did say, however, that while there is still interest in the sector, the Ministry’s numbers only reflect registrations and that factory owners are still weary of investing due to the discontent in the garment industry, according to the Phnom Penh Post.
Loo said GMAC membership has increased, but the rate of increase is slower this year than last.