• June 2, 2005
  • Report


Since textile and apparel trade quotas ended on January 1, 2005, the world market for textiles and apparel products has shifted dramatically. China has achieved breathtaking gains in exports in just a few months, while other suppliers have suffered.

Cambodia’s garment industry has managed to hold its own, perhaps benefiting from uncertainty among U.S. and EU buyers, many of which are retaining multiple sources of supply while waiting to see how safeguard actions (new quotas) against China play out.

But safeguards will not last forever. The question for Cambodian producers is whether they can be cost-competitive when safeguards are lifted.

In this report we identify how Cambodia’s garment industry can become more competitive while maintaining its strong record on labor standards, particularly by raising labor productivity through better management and training. Drawing on our innovative factory-level research, we analyze the competitive strengths and weaknesses of Cambodia’s garment manufacturers and benchmark their productivity against that of garment industries elsewhere.

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