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PHNOM PENH – Cambodia’s main garment industry trade body has pleaded with global apparel brands not go ‘cut and run’ from its members amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The plea from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) comes as global buyers continue to suspend shipments of already-produced goods and those under production. Leading US and European buyers like H&M, Zara, Mango, Primark, Macy’s and J.C. Penney have halted production as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge downturn in global demand.

Bangladesh has also been hammered by the massive fall in demand. Its own government has announced a stimulus package worth tens of billions of dollars to try tide the ready-made garment industry over the next few months.

“The current global pandemic of COVID-19 has brought chaos to all our lives and businesses. To overcome this critical situation, GMAC appeals to all stakeholders to join hands so that we can survive together,” GMAC said in a statement.

“To all the buyers, please don’t give up on Cambodia. We urge you to fulfil your existing contractual obligations by taking delivery of already produced goods and goods currently in production and pay under the regular terms. This will allow us to pay our workers and continue the work for them.”

The GMAC also called on all workers and unions to have confidence in the preventive measures being implemented at the workplaces.

Cambodia has over 500 textile factories employing more than 700,000 workers. Last year, the textile industry made up 70 per cent of the country’s total exports valued at US$7.5bn.

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