Cambodia

Kingdom of Cambodia │ កម្ពុជា

Cambodia has made significant economic growth driven by solid performances in the garment manufacturing sector. Cambodia’s garment, textiles and footwear (GTF) sector is worth US$9.4 billion and employs over 650,000 workers in exporting factories, with 250,000 to 400,000 more workers estimated to be working in the sub-contracting sector. Over 80 per cent of workers in the sector are young women who remit income to support the livelihoods of their families. The industry has made significant contributions to Cambodia’s strong GDP growth and related employment creation. Between 2013 and 2018, the export value of the Cambodian GTF sector grew by 75 per cent.

This sector continues to play a leading role in the Cambodian economy, accounting for approximately 74 per cent of Cambodia’s total merchandise exports in 2018. While traditional markets (US, the EU) have declined recently in significance, continued diversification can be seen in exports to Japanese and Canadian markets and include an emerging export market to China. Despite these impressive numbers, there are concerns that continued growth in the garment sector cannot be sustained. Cambodia’s competitiveness is being challenged by a rapid increase in the minimum wage and a lack of supply chain integration with almost all fabric and materials being imported, mainly from China.

Country Profile

Population

16,719,000 (2020)

Gross Domestic Product

constant USD

1,269 (2019)

Human Development Index Ranking

HDI (out of 189 countries)

144 (2019)

Industry

Garment/Textile Workers

Number of workers in the garment/textile sector

1,043,000 (2017)

Women Workers in the Garment/Textile Industry

Percentage of women workers employed in the garment/textile industry

80

Number of Garment/Textile Factories

Number of factories in the garment/textile industry

735

Garment/Textile Industry Exports

(USD$ billion)

8.6

Garment/Textile Industry Size

Percentage of total exports

74

Key Garment/Textile Export Markets

Top five countries ($USD value exported and subsequent percentage)

Country Percentage of Exports
United States 25.9%
Japan 9.2%
Germany 8.9%
Canada 8.1%
United Kingdom 7.6%
Stakeholders

Government Entities

Government agencies actively involved in the garment/textile industry

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MoLVT)
Department of Labour Inspectorate (DoL)
Ministry of Commerce (MoC)
Ministry of Economy and Finance (MoEF)
Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC)

Worker Organizations

Trade unions, Union federations, and other worker organizations

Cambodian Confederation of Trade Union (CCTU)
National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia (NIFTUC)
Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU)
Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC)
Cambodia Federation of Independent Trade Unions (CFITU)
Cambodia Labour Union Federation (CLUF)
Cambodian Union Federation (CUF)

Employer/Industry Associations and Chambers of Commerce

Employers and industry related associations, private sectors associations and chambers of commerce

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC)
Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations (CAMFEBA)
Cambodia Footwear Association (CFA)
American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham)
European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham)
Australian Chamber of Commerce (AusCham)
British Chamber of Commerce (BritCham)

Development Agencies/ International Organizations

National and international development organizations working within the garment/textile industry

Better Factories Cambodia (BFC)
International Labour Organization (ILO)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH FABRIC

Civil Society Organizations/ Non-governmental Organizations

Organizations working within the garment/textile industry

Solidarity Center Cambodia
CARE Cambodia

Sustainability

Gender

Gender-related law, policy, and initiatives

19.2% of the total female workforce in Cambodia are employed in the garment sector, compared to 5.4% male. 76.4% of the workers in the garment sector are women, and 23.6% are men., The median gender pay gap in the garment sector is around 2.5%.,

Sources

Sources of data provided

  1. Population: https://population.un.org/wpp/DataQuery/
  2. GDP Per Capita: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.KD?name_desc=true
  3. HDI: http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries
  4. Garment / Textile Workers: Labour force statistics (LFS) ILOSTAT Employment by sex and economic activity – ISIC level 2 (thousands) – Annual. Employment ISIC codes 13-15. https://ilostat.ilo.org/data/# *Includes subcontracting workers and factories that are for internal and export markets.
  5. Women Workers in the Garment /Textile Industry: Labour force statistics (LFS) ILOSTAT Employment by sex and economic activity – ISIC level 2 (thousands) – Annual. Employment ISIC codes 13-15. https://ilostat.ilo.org/data/# Female / Total
  6. Number of Garment / Textile Factories - The total figure is an amalgamation of exporting factories (Garment, Footwear and Travel Goods) approximated to Garment (Better Factories Cambodia Reporting of 535 exporting factories, plus 100 estimated Footwear and 100 approximated Travel Goods factories) equaling 735 factories.
  7. Garment / Textile Industry Exports
  8. Garment / Textile Industry Size 
  9. Key Garment / Textile Export Market https://unctadstat.unctad.org/wds/ReportFolders/reportFolders.aspx?IF_ActivePath=P,15912&sCS_ChosenLang=en 2019 Merchandise trade matrix – exports of individual economies in thousands United States dollars, annual (SITC codes 26, 65, 84, 85): Total of Garment (Textiles and Apparel) and Footwear categories; Percentage of Garment and Footwear categories per country divided by total Garment and Footwear categories, Total countries.
  10. Environment - These resources are thematic related resources on a rotating roster.
  11. Social & Labour - These resources are thematic related resources on a rotating roster.
  12. Gender ILO calculation based on labour force survey in Cambodia 2019 Labour force statistics (LFS) ILOSTAT Employment by sex and economic activity – ISIC level 2 (thousands) – Annual. Employment ISIC codes 13-15. https://ilostat.ilo.org/data/#

News on Cambodia


West Takeo factory building lost in fire

"A fire levelled a storage facility of bag factory Outdoor Gear (Cambodia) Co Ltd in western Takeo province on January 21, destroying tonnes of materials. No human casualties were reported. The fire w ...

Read More

Fire razes factory to the ground, no injuries

"A Chinese-owned swimwear and bag sewing factory in Takeo province’s Tram Kak district was completely destroyed by fire. [...] Maj Savin said that according to the factory’s report, there are 1, 396 w ...

Read More

Rising exports mask skills gap in Cambodia's garment industry

"Experts say long-term prospects rest on training management talent. Cambodia's garment industry is on the hunt for graduates as part of a campaign to see local staff take over senior positions in fac ...

Read More

Resources on Cambodia

View All

Business Resilience Guides: Guides for garment factories to build resilience during and after COVID-19

The ILO provides a series of six action-oriented guides for garment factories in Asia to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and to build business resilience. This fact sheet provides an introduction to the series.

View

Arron Goldman  | August 08, 2021

Care & Better Factories Cambodia - Guidance Note 2: Grievance Mechanisms in Khmer

This guidance note is intended to support the design of effective grievance mechanisms in response to gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) in the world of work. A grievance mechanism is a predictable and structured way to address and resolve complaints.

View

The Asia Garment Hub  | January 10, 2022

Care & Better Factories Cambodia - Guidance Note 1: Workplace Policy on Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in Khmer

This guidance note is intended to support workplaces in designing a policy to address gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) in the workplace. It covers: • Principles • Content • Harmonisation with other workplace policies

View

The Asia Garment Hub  | January 10, 2022

Care & Better Factories Cambodia - Guidance Note 7: Guide to Workplace Training in Khmer

This note is intended to support companies undertaking training of their workforce. The note may support companies in identifying suitable high-quality training to provide in the workplace. The note gives guidance on the following questions: Why do we need specific trainings on...

View

The Asia Garment Hub  | January 10, 2022

Care & Better Factories Cambodia - Guidance Note 8: Zero Tolerance in Khmer

Having a zero-tolerance policy in relation to gender based violence and harassment (GBVH), in principle, is a good idea. However, how that policy is expressed and put into operation can have different outcomes and potentially lead to unintended consequences for victims and...

View

The Asia Garment Hub  | January 10, 2022

Care & Better Factories Cambodia - Guidance Note 5: Risk Assessment in Khmer

This note provides a framework for undertaking risk assessments on gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH) and can be implemented by companies as part of human resource management, procurement, purchasing, and sourcing, supply chain management, client and customer management,...

View

The Asia Garment Hub  | January 10, 2022

Care & Better Factories Cambodia - Guidance Note 6: Responding to Disclosures in Khmer

What is disclosure in the context of gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH)? Why do we need to be sensitive in cases of GBVH disclosures? What does a disclosure look like? How do we respond to disclosures? What can I do? What can I not do?

View

The Asia Garment Hub  | January 10, 2022

Care & Better Factories Cambodia - Guidance Note 3: Referrals in Khmer

Making referrals requires information on appropriate referral services available in the local area. Better Work and CARE International recommends the following steps in making referrals available: Mapping referral systems; Disseminating referral information; Collecting feedback...

View

The Asia Garment Hub  | January 10, 2022

Join our growing community!