Textile Industry Gets Lessons From Korean Designers

Cambodian manufacturers on Wednesday received training from Korean designers on how to make apparel in line with current fashion trends in the hopes of assisting them in penetrating the lucrative but difficult Korean market.

The event was organized by the ASEAN-Korea Center—an intergovernmental organization that aims to improve relations between South Korea and Asean member states—and was aimed at strengthening trade ties between Cambodia and Korea.

Ki Bong-moon, second deputy head of the body’s trade and investment unit, said that the ASEAN-Korea Center had worked hard to establish a strong­er link between Cambodian producers and buyers in Korea, but found that product quality and design often did not keep up with market trends and expectations there.

“This program hopes to help educate Cambodian manufacturers about how they can create more suitable products for the Korean market,” he said, adding that he hoped it would encourage Cambodian manufacturers to play more of a role in designing their products, something that would add a lot of value to the garment industry.

Jung Kyounga, chief executive of Korean clothing brand ISAE, said that Cambodian textile and handicraft producers were behind international standards in terms of quality and work procedures but had a rich and unique heritage and wealth of design traditions to draw from.

“I would like to encourage Cambodian textile manufacturers to put more effort into research and development and global fashion trends, so that their handmade products can make it into the Korean and global markets easier,” she said.

Bilateral trade with Korea reached $329 million in the first five months of this year, an increase of 12 percent compared to the same per­iod last year, but it is the European Union and U.S. who purchase the lion’s share of Cambodia’s garments and textiles.

Secretary of State for the Ministry of Commerce Mao Thora said that Korea had played a huge role in the development of Cambodia’s commerce and products. He said that seminars like the one Wednesday would “help businessmen learn and understand about Korean interests and trends as well as the new designs and styles in the Korean market.”

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