Even as China pushes factories to reopen, the ripple effects of Covid-19 have already proved inescapable for manufacturers outside the country. Particularly hard hit is Southeast Asia, where industries that depend on China for raw materials are being hobbled as their supplies dry up.
In Cambodia, the government today warned about 200 factories making mostly clothing will probably have to slow or cease production entirely due to a lack of raw materials. China—the world’s biggest textile exporter—provides more than 60% of the materials feeding Cambodia’s garment and textile factories, according to the country’s association of garment manufacturers. Prime Minister Hun Sen has publicly urged the Chinese ambassador to send more materials by ship and plane so the industry won’t have to shut down.