Cambodian garment industry will suffer ‘negative consequences’ if EU trade deal is revoked

Industry insider Marco Kalinna, managing director of Cosmos Services, a garment trade supplier in Phnom Penh, and board member of the German Business Group in Cambodia, speaks with Southeast Asia Globe about the European Union’s review and possible retraction of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement with Cambodia.

The announced review of the Everything But Arms agreement will bear results in a year. Does that mean Cambodian garment producers can relax for the moment, and the industry is shielded for at least a year?

Not at all. Buyers are planning at least six months ahead prior to an upcoming season, during which they design and source materials, sample products and find the right production partner. They need planning security, and the review phase by the EU Commission might prevent them from making a decision for a Cambodian production. This might not yet affect the spring/summer collections, but certainly autumn/winter 2019 might be concerned, where production usually starts around May or June.

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