Cambodia's garment exports up 3.3 pct in first 8 months: commerce ministry

Garment workers take a lunch break outside a factory on Sept. 10, 2020 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (Photo: Xinhua)

PHNOM PENH-- Cambodia's garment industry has seen a 3.3-percent increase in exports during the first eight months of 2021, a report from the Ministry of Commerce showed on Saturday.

The Southeast Asian nation exported the products worth 5.02 billion U.S. dollars during the January-August period this year, up 3.3 percent from 4.86 billion dollars over the same period last year, the report said.

Garment industry is the largest foreign exchange earner for Cambodia. The sector consists of about 1,100 factories and branches, employing approximately 750,000 workers, mostly female, according to the Labor Ministry.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Friday attributed the growth in the apparel industry to high COVID-19 vaccination rates and controllable COVID-19 situation.

"Our garment industry has been functioning normally, and we have seen a remarkable rise in purchase orders because our country is now safer from COVID-19 than other garment manufacturing countries," he said during a press conference on a COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Cambodia launched a COVID-19 inoculation campaign in February, with China being the key vaccine supplier.

As of Sept. 17, some 11.6 million people, or 72.5 percent of the kingdom's 16 million population, had received at least one vaccine dose, while 10.1 million, or 63.2 percent, had obtained both required shots and 815,581, or 5 percent, had got a third dose or booster dose, the health ministry said.

The country reported 648 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, pushing the national total caseload to 103,482, the ministry said, adding that seven new fatalities were registered, bringing the overall death toll to 2,096.

An additional of 492 patients recovered, taking the total number of recoveries to 96,767, said the ministry. 

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