Vietnam, Cambodia lure Japanese apparel makers from China

Uniqlo suppliers and others lured by lower labor costs and RCEP tariff reductions.

Major Japanese apparel manufacturers are shifting more of their overseas production from China to Southeast Asia, as China’s rising labour costs and zero-Covid policy chip away at its dominance.

Amid a depreciating yen and rising costs of raw materials, apparel companies are using every available method to lower costs. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Asia-Pacific trade deal that came into effect in January, has given companies a new lifeline.

Major apparel companies, such as Adastria, Aoyama Trading and suppliers of Uniqlo, are moving some of their production bases to RCEP member countries in Southeast Asia, taking advantage of reductions in or exemptions from textile import tariffs.

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