Cambodia's Garment, Footwear, Travel Goods Export up 20 pct in Q1

Garment workers make clothes at a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Dec. 17, 2021. Photo: Xinhua/Wu Changwei

PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia exported 2,941 million U.S. dollars worth of garment, footwear and travel products (GFTs) to international markets in the first quarter of 2024, up 20 percent from 2,449 million dollars over the same period last year, said a report released by the Ministry of Commerce on Friday.

Apparel and textiles accounted for 2,167 million dollars during the January-March period this year, marking an increase of 23 percent from 1,759 million dollars over the same period last year, the report said.

Footwear represented 346.3 million dollars, up 6.9 percent from 323.7 million dollars, while travel goods absorbed 427.9 million dollars, up 16.6 percent from 366.7 million dollars, the report added.

Speaking at a press conference on Cambodia's economic outlook for 2024 on Thursday, Poullang Doung, Asian Development Bank-Cambodia's senior economics officer, said the GFT sector will partly contribute to Cambodia's economic growth this year, which was projected at 5.8 percent.

He said the outlook for the GFT exports is "positive" and that the GFT exports have gained momentum since the last quarter of 2023.

The GFT industry is the biggest foreign exchange earner for the Southeast Asian country.

The sector currently consists of roughly 1,680 factories and branches, employing some 918,000 workers, mostly female, according to the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training.

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