A joint statement by Cambodia’s leading industry bodies notes that more than 15,000 employees in Cambodia are likely to be unemployed as about 400 clothing, footwear and travel goods factories in the country have suspended their operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement was issued by organizations including the Association of Garment Manufacturers in Cambodia, the Association of Cambodia Footwear and the European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia.
The statement says several European and North American brands and distributors have canceled or postponed orders due to the pandemic ‘s decline in retail sales in Europe. Consequently, millions of Cambodians will fall back into poverty because of this crisis as unemployed workers receive just a $30 stipend from the factory and $40 a month from the government. Therefore, the statement urged the European Union to postpone the effective date of partial withdrawal of the All But Arms (EBA) trade benefits of Cambodia for one year due to the Cambodian pandemic.