Global demand plummets! Cambodia’s clothing and footwear exports decline, economic pressure surges​


[INNEWS Comprehensive Report] On October 11, the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce released a report revealing that in the first nine months of 2023, Cambodia’s exports of textiles, clothing and footwear showed a downward trend. Affected by the decline in global demand, especially the significant shrinkage in demand in the two major markets of Europe and the United States, Cambodia’s export situation is not optimistic.

Detailed data from the report shows that clothing exports recorded more than 5.929 billion U.S. dollars in the first nine months, a decrease of 17%; exports of footwear and footwear parts totaled more than 991 million U.S. dollars, a decrease of more than 25%; luggage The total export volume exceeded US$1.223 billion, and the decline cannot be ignored, reaching 13%. In addition, the total export value of other textile products exceeded US$325 million, a decrease of 7%.

Kata On, spokesperson for the Cambodian Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, said that the decline in clothing export prices shows that demand in all export destinations around the world is shrinking, especially in the two major markets of Europe and the Americas. This economic slowdown is caused by the slow pace and uncertainty of the global economic recovery. This is not only a problem in Cambodia, but also a global problem.

Kata on further pointed out that there will be a significant decline in global order demand in 2023, which has put pressure on factories, enterprises and some workers’ families. Some factories even had to suspend some or short-term employment contracts. To help keep businesses afloat and workers afloat, the Cambodian government has begun providing cash support to workers affected by the economic crisis.

Ly Khun Thai, chairman of the Cambodia Footwear Association, said that the apparel industry, especially footwear, has experienced the most significant decline, exceeding 25%. This is not caused by domestic factors, but by a sharp drop in foreign orders. The most important factor driving this decline is global, meaning that incomes are falling in almost all countries. Therefore, people all over the world, especially in Europe, the United States and some other countries, are reducing their spending and reducing unnecessary consumption, such as shoes and bags.

Ly Khun Thai added that the association is very concerned about this downward trend as they are currently working hard to find buyers from other countries to facilitate future growth in re-exports.

According to a new report recently released by the International Monetary Fund, developed economies have slowed from 2.2% in 2022 to 1.5%, and are expected to continue to decline to 1.4% in 2023, which will have a negative impact on the exports of clothing products in various countries. In the first six months of 2023, Vietnam’s exports fell by 15.7%, Indonesia by 19.2%, and Sri Lanka by 14.6%, bringing the overall decline to 13.5%. This has further exacerbated the challenges in the global apparel industry.