Cambodia’s garment business will be forever changed with the opening of a major industrial park in Kompong Cham province, the project manager said Tuesday.
The park officially opened Monday with the inauguration of a US-Taiwan joint venture garment factory, said Clement Yang, the chairman of the company that operates both the industrial park and the Manhattan Textile & Garment Corp.
Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over ceremonies Monday at the 28-hectare industrial park, which also includes some 2,000 hectares set aside for cotton plantations.
“Upon completion, the park will be an integrated special industry zone with various textile-related factories,” Yang said.
Yang’s firm has initially invested $3 million to refurbish an old cotton mill plant built in the 1960s, but it plans to expand the zone in five years with all aspects of textile production from cotton farming to spinning thread, knitting and finishing products.
Three of eight companies that have agreed to make the park their home are operating and some 800 people are employed, Yang said. Total investment could reach $50 million and 50,000 jobs would be created by 2005, Yang said.
In a speech on Apsara radio, Hun Sen said the industrial park would mark the opening of a new page in the textile industry because factories in the park mostly will use materials grown locally according to his speech broadcast on Apsara Radio.
“It would bring a big change in the industry,” said Hun Sen, noting only $100 million of the $700 million generated by Cambodia’s garment industry remains in Cambodia. “The government should encourage growing cotton for factories in order to absorb more benefits from the industry.”