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Cambodia urges US to review GSP, wants more trade concesions

Cambodia has urged garment factory owners to invest in the latest technology and machinery to increase efficiency and become more competitive as the country shifts to higher value-added manufacturing. Exports of Cambodia’s garment and footwear sector continued to increase at 7.2 per cent in 2016 from 2015.

Cambodia’s garment and footwear industry is undergoing a transformation from producing cheap, labor-intensive products to higher value-added products. The country gets 100 per cent preference from Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland and 99 per cent preference from the EU under the ‘Everything But Arms’ clause.

The country wants the US to review its Generalised System of Preference for Duty-Free and Quota Free granted to the kingdom, as a less developed country, for its exports to have better preferential access to the North American market. It has requested the United States to offer duty free preference to some of Cambodia’s main commodities, including luggage, leather goods and other products.

Improvement of working conditions for factory workers was one of the main criteria set by the US when it came to giving preferential trade treatment. And Cambodia says it has performed well in improving the conditions of garment workers and workers are now paid decent salaries, allowing many families to get out of poverty.