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Media news 2020-03-15

1,000 containers with raw material offer relief to Kingdom’s factories

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday announced the arrival of 12 ships containing more than 1,000 containers of raw materials from China at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port to supply struggling garment factories in the Kingdom.

Speaking with officials at Battambang province’s Battambang city, the premier said China has helped facilitate the transport of raw materials to Cambodia amid the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in a raw materials crunch in the Kingdom.

The shortage saw thousands of garment factory workers being suspended as factories struggled to continue operations.

Last week, Mr Hun Sen urged banks and MFIs to delay collection of interest payment from the suspended workers. He also called on water and electricity suppliers to delay collection of utility payments to ease the financial burden of the workers.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour told Khmer Times yesterday all raw materials which arrived in the Kingdom will help alleviate production setbacks encountered by factories which have yet to cease operations.

“At least two factories have requested for the temporary suspension of their operations with the Ministry of Labour. They may cancel their request once the raw materials arrive,” said Mr Sour.

Last week, the Garment Manufacturing Association in Cambodia (GMAC) assured its member factories that round the clock transportation of raw materials will be seen in the capital as the government implements measures to fill the shortage.

GMAC said the Phnom Penh municipal administration has allowed all container trucks to continually enter the capital as authorities take necessary traffic measures to expedite the transport of the shipments to garment factories.

The municipal administration, noted GMAC, also expressed its readiness to provide escorts to container trucks to avoid traffic congestion or any detention by traffic police who are unaware of the trucks’ contents and purpose.

Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina said affected workers are grateful to the government for intervening in the raw materials shortage and helping alleviate their burdens in this time of crisis.