Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Hun Sen says the issue of the European Union's preferential treatment (EBA) is no longer important to Cambodia as more factories open in the country. Speaking at the Peace Palace on Friday morning, he said that due to political and social stability in Cambodia, combined with a more effective vaccination campaign, many factories have sprung up in the country, providing employment and national income. He added that the EBA was no longer important.
He said: “Four factories that used to make masks are now turning to make clothes instead because of orders. Have EBA or not EBA, it does not matter. Cambodia still exports to the market, it is not closing factories but opening new factories. Brazil cannot supply, Bangladesh cannot supply, Myanmar cannot supply and now Covid-19 has hit Vietnam, so now buyers come to buy from Cambodia because Cambodia is safer than these countries.”
Ministry of Industry spokesman, Heng Sok Kong, told EAC News that as of September, the number of new factories opening in Cambodia is 119, with an investment capital of about $712-million. 45 of these are garment factories.
In August 2020, the European Union decided to temporarily cut off parts of the EBA from Cambodia, including garments, clothing, footwear and travel accessories, claiming that Cambodia had violated the principle of democracy and human rights. At the time, the World Bank estimated that Cambodia could lose between $513-million and $654-million a year. In response, the Royal Government launched a campaign to strengthen Cambodia's independence by assisting businesses and reducing the complexity of investment, which has helped investors to continue their business as well as maintain economic stability of the country as well.