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Garment Orders Plummet as Factories Close

The global economic downturn has led to a drop in orders for Cambodia’s garment industry by nearly a third, a worrying statistic, industry leaders said Monday.

The economic downturn, which has hit the US—Cambodia’s top purchases of garments—as well as the EU and Asia, resulted in the fall of orders by 30 percent, along with lower bids for the orders that do come in, said Cheat Khemara, a representative of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, as a guest on “Hello VOA.”

The $2.6 billion industry is one of Cambodia’s main economic engines, employing more than 300,000 workers.

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union, said Monday that at least 10 factories have closed down and six or seven have suspended operations in the wake of the downturn, which began in earnest in September.

“Until today, we do not know what is the real problem of these closures or suspensions, the crisis, or no buyers?” he said, also as a guest on “Hello VOA.”