PHNOM PENH, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's garment, footwear and travel goods industry has seen a 40-percent rise in exports in the first half of this year, according to a report from the General Department of Customs and Excise.
The Southeast Asian nation exported the products totally worth 6.6 billion U.S. dollars during the January-June period this year, up 40 percent from 4.72 billion dollars over the same period last year, the report said.
Ministry of Commerce's undersecretary of state and spokesman Penn Sovicheat attributed the growth to the full resumption of socio-economic activities in Cambodia, trade preferences, and a rise in global demand.
"The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement, which entered into force in January, has also contributed to this growth," he told Xinhua on Monday.
RCEP comprises 15 Asia-Pacific countries including 10 ASEAN member states, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and their five trading partners - China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
"I believe that the growth will continue throughout this year as the global COVID-19 pandemic has waned," Sovicheat added.
Garment, footwear and travel goods industry is the largest foreign exchange earner for Cambodia. The sector consists of roughly 1,100 factories and branches, employing approximately 750,000 workers, mostly female.
"The garment sector has played an important role in boosting Cambodia's exports as other garment producing countries are still suffering from the impact of COVID-19," senior economist Ky Sereyvath, director general of the Institute of China Studies at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told Xinhua. ■