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People sit outside an Mfone store in Phnom Penh. The telco owes at least million '0 1..

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_____,__________________ ____________________ _____ _ _ ___ _________ --, will r eccivt' all II I" 111" ' 11' \
HorKlmsay
T
HE IUlmbe:r ()f com
pal1lcs reglstenng to
become members of
the Gannet1t Manu
facturingAssoci ation in Cam
bodia (GMAC) doubled last
year, with more investment in
value-added products.
G!'vtAC said the number of
new members reached 120
last year, compared with 60
newcomers in 2011.
GMAC operations manager
Ly Tek Heng told the Post low
labour costs. access to key
markets and duty-free ex
ports were driving growth in
Cambodia's garment sector,
MACmemb rs do
DVE
but ill egal stri kes and a short
<Ige nf skilled workers were
challcnging the industry.
"Most ofthe newcomers are
from China, Taiwan and Jlong
Kong, where wages have been
rising," J-1eng said. "More of
them are tending to focus on
higher-value-added products
that require more expertise."
On average, each new com
pany invested about US$1.5
million, which amounts to
about $180 million spread
among the 120 newcomers.
GMAC now counts 470 gar
ment and footwear factories
as members. They employ
about 450,000 workers, 80 per
cent of whom are women'.
Email: borom.chea@phnompenhpost.com or
narith,chap@phnompenhpost. com
www.phnompenhpost.com
....". . 1/.....,.,.. It
Hiroshi Suzuki , chi efecono
mist at the Busi ness Research
Institute for Cambodia, told
the /JOS[ earlier tllls month
many companies, esp ecially
in labour-intensive indust
ries, were looking for good
investment candidates, and
ambodia was on their list.
"Labour- intensiveindustries
in China would like [() relocate
to good candidate countries
because of the drastic increase
in wages in China compared
with those in other countries,
including Cambodia,"
from this month, every
Thai worker will be entitled
to a 300 baht ($10) daily mini
mum wage. Monthly wages in
Vietnam have risen to as much
as 2.4 million dong ($113),
Tbe minimum wage for a
Cambodian workcr in a gar
ment factory is $61 a month.
Al though more incenlives all!
being provided to workers, the
minimum wage, plus incen
tives, brings the workers' m ini
mum income to $83 a month.
Ath Thorn, president of the
Coalition of Cambodian Ap
parel Workers' Democratic
Union, said an increase in
members proved Cambodia's
attractiveness as a low-cost
labour location was outweigh
ing fears of worker wuest.
He said altllOugh the number
of strikes had increased from 39
bled
in 20] 1 to 61 last year, this had
not seriously affected the coun
try's image, as workers protest
ed only 10 earn a better salary
anti better Jiving conditions.
"Genuine investors who truly
respect the rights of workers
will not be afraid to put money
into Cambodia," Thorn said.
Heng said more and more
Cambodian workers could work
as tearn supervi sors, which was
a sign of the industry's develop
ment, but many still lacked the
wlderstanding to seize job op
portunities for a better salary.
"Until now, we have not had
Cambodian workers who are
experts in fashion design or
pattern-making," he said.
owed, and COllI 1111 ,.., 1""1'1'
liers may find I h l' III', I\. I
lower- prioril YI'I"l' riillJl ',
"Oru l1la rlly, ll lt' rt, WW lltl ll1
be anYlhi ng Jcl1 UVI' I , 11 ', 11 ", ,,
debts ourwciKh l lwi l
that's why 111I!y go hall lllll " ,
Rendal l saieL
"My understandi llH I ', 11 ", i
firsT listing would hI: 1'111 1' 1"
ees' salaries, Second, I
is government tax.", Ih" tI
wouJd be secured Il l' tl Jl III
and fourth would hl' 1111 ', ' "
ured credi LOrs.
"If it is just a mere n llll l ,1I I
then tbey would con1l' 1. ,,1 Ii
that priori ty,"
Minis ter of Posts """ 11 ' 1
communications SO
refused to provide ally ili lu
mation ' relating to I" h i
Technologies' claim.
Mfone expects a dl'1,_I"
from the court on bank!lIp'l
in mid-February.
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