Garment firms ask for patience amid Covid-19 setbacks

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) called on all stakeholders not to punish its members if they could not honour their delivery schedules because their production had been halted due to a Covid-19 lockdown.

The Cambodian government had imposed a 14-day lockdown in the capital city Phnom Penh and its adjacent Ta Khmau city from April 15-28 to curb the spread of Covid-19.

This lockdown order requires that all non-essential business be shut down and that all residents should remain at home and only leave their house for emergencies or whenever absolutely necessary.

“The apparel, footwear and travel goods manufacturing sector is not considered an essential sector that needs to stay open during the lockdown, so we have to remain closed, ” GMAC said in a statement.

“The lockdown is also causing disruptions to the logistics sector and we are unable to freely transport raw materials and/or finished goods.”

GMAC said some of its members who were not located within the lockdown areas were also affected as their staff residing in Phnom Penh and Ta Khmau could not go to work.

“These factories are unable to operate normally, ” it said. “This may result in production delays as well as failure to meet previously agreed delivery schedules.”

GMAC said it was necessary to cooperate and obey the instructions of the government and join hands to combat the spread of Covid-19.

“We would like to appeal for your understanding to facilitate and make arrangements to help accommodate this special situation, ” it said.

“We urge all of you not to punish our members for this situation that is beyond our control.”

The garment, footwear and travel goods industry, which is the country’s largest income earner, is comprised of approximately 1,000 factories with some 750,000 workers.

The South-East Asian nation has been suffering from its third community Covid-19 outbreak since Feb 20.

The kingdom logged 624 new cases on Monday, taking the total number of infections to 7,013 with 45 fatalities, the Ministry of Health said, adding that there were currently 4,439 active cases in the country. — Xinhua

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