More than 4,000 people attended a ceremony in December last year that saw Japan’s largest shopping mall developer and operator, Aeon, breaking ground on its three-storey mall in Phnom Penh, and the company says it is already considering building more in the capital. …
Aeon Mall Cambodia managing director Makoto Yajima said the mall is expected to be finished in May 2014 if everything goes to plan.
The company is confident in opening a mall in Phnom Penh because the economy is growing, the politics are stable, and the mall will cater to the needs of the younger generation, he said. …
The amount of air cargo entering and leaving Phnom Penh increased by almost 40 percent last year, and nearly 100,000 more business travelers to the capital were recorded during the first 11 months of last year compared to the same period in 2011, data from the government and the country’s airport operator show.
Economists said the jump in air cargo was an indicator of how Cambodia’s economy is beginning to diversify its industrial base, and that more business visitors demonstrated an increasing amount of interest from foreign investors in the country. …
Five people were arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly stealing more than 8,000 articles of clothing from shipping container on its way to Phnom Penh for export to the U.S., police said.
The five suspects are accused of removing the garments from the cargo container as it was traveling from the factory., Mastex Incam (Cambodia) Co. Ltd., to the Phnom Pehn Autonomous Port, Said Hem Bunthy, investigation bureau chief of the penal department at the Ministry of Interior. …
Phok Dorn and Dene-Hern Chen, P.17
About 10 workers were beaten by police and military police during a protest over severance payments yesterday in Kandal province, workers and union representatives said.
Protests at Tai Yang Enterprises—which supplies clothing to U.S. brands Levi Strauss and Old Navy—in Ang Snuol district have been ongoing since May, when workers learned that the factory had changed its name to Tai Nan and became worried that their severance payments would be lost.
A peaceful march to appeal to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cabinet in Phnom Penh for help on July 11 turned violent when police officers started beating the protesters and badly injured a union representative. …
Phok Dorn, P. 20
Some 100 workers, along with the president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, delivered a letter yesterday to the US Embassy in Phnom Penh asking Americans to boycott clothing made by Tai Yang Enterprises.
Surrounded by protesters, CCU President Rong Chhun said that the group was left with no other choice after authorities failed to find a suitable solution for the employees of the Levi’s and Gap supplier. …
Mom Kunthear, P. 5
It’s after midnight in Sihanoukville and British teenagers are clogging the walkways, pushing past one another to drain free shots at the bars. In Kep, elderly French tourists sun themselves at the upscale Sailing Club while Spaniards and Germans eye the offerings at Phnom Penh’s Central Market.
In spite of the growing fears in Europe about the sovereign debt crisis that could see the bloc’s economies tumbling down like a house of cards should Greece leave the currency union, at the moment, Cambodia appears untouched. European tourists keep coming; European brands like H&M keep buying clothing made in the Kingdom’s garment factories .
Still, while the eurozone has been given at least a temporarily reprieve by the most recent elections in Greece, the future of the common currency is far from certain…
Abby Seiff, P. 23
Violence erupted yesterday morning during a long-running protest at a Phnom Penh factory that produces clothing for international brands H&M, Gap and Levi Strauss when about 1,000 workers broke the factory’s gate and started hurling rocks to break its windows, protesters and military police officers said.
About 300 police and military police arrived to block the factory’s entrance of SL Garment Processing Company in Meanchey district and dispersed the protesters.
“We all broke the two gates and pushed the motorbikes down. Then we ran away after the factory’s security guards held steel bars to fight back at us,” said Neang Met, 38, one of the protesters. …
Aun Pheap and Dene-Hern Chen, P. 24
A representative of a factory that produces clothing for international clothing brands H&M, Gap and Levi Strauss warned yesterday that its buyers will place orders elsewhere if the strike for higher wages and benefits in its two factories continues.
An official at the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, an international organization that promotes workers’ rights, however, said it was unlikely buyers would cancel their orders and that the factory was merely feeling the pressure from buyers to find a solution to the protests.
Lim Chhor Khay, a chairman representative of Singaporean-owned SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Co. Ltd., said some buyers were considering moving their business to Burma because of the continued strike. …
Aun Pheap and Dene-Hern Chen, P. 24
The World Bank’s biannual report on Cambodia was largely positive given dire economic prospects in Europe, which economists agreed were closely tied to the Kingdom’s key export sectors.
The report, released yesterday, predicted 6.6 per cent growth in gross domestic product…
Manufacturing is predicted to slow slightly this year, but the nature of Cambodian-made clothing may dodge some fallout from the continued sovereign debt crisis in Europe, which has been compounded recently by the threat of Greece’s exit from the European Union. …
The report noted that Cambodia has benefited from a shift in labour intensive industries from China to countries with lower wage costs, but economists said the country’s capacity to absorb new investments was not guaranteed. …
Don Weinland, P. 7
About 4,000 garment workers from factories that produce clothing for international brands H&M, Gap and Levi Strauss continued protesting yesterday in Phnom Penh for higher wages, union representatives said.
Singaporean-owned SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd. parked three large trucks in front of their Meanchey district factories to block the demonstration, which has been ongoing since May 12, so the protesters spilled out onto the busy street. …
Aun Pheap, P. 22
Ministry of Social Affairs officials yesterday conducted a meeting between the owners of a factory, which produces clothing for H&M, Gap and Levi Strauss, and its workers, but threatened to file a complaint against the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU), union representatives said.
“I think the ministry officials have no intent to find a resolution for our workers’ raise demands. On the contrary, they threatened to file a complaint to the court, accusing the unions…of preventing workers from coming to work,” San Sopha, a CCAWDU representative, said. …
Aun Pheap and Dene-Hern Chen, P. 25
Just two days after dozens of workers fainted at a factory in Kompong Speu province that manufactures clothing for US sports brand Nike, another 300 workers at the same factory fainted on Friday.
Chy Sakla, a secretary for the Free Trade Union (FTU) at the Sabrina Garment Factory, which employs 6,000 workers, said some of the workers were sent to the provincial referral hospital, while others were recovering in private clinics.
The latest episode is the most recent occurrence of fainting in Cambodia’s garment sector, which saw a spate of similar events last year, causing manufacturers and officials to question the industry’s working conditions. …
Khy Sovuthy, P. 11
With prices creeping upward and the central bank looking to take monetary action to fight inflation, the government has suspended the publication of the monthly Consumer Price Index, an official at the Ministry of Pallning said yesterday. Sam Saroeun, deputy director of the statistic department in the Ministry of Planning, said that the Ministry of Finance had requested his ministry, not publish the CPI report, which details June’s inflation rate. An official at the Ministry of Finance, however, said he was unaware of any suspension of statistics on consumer prices.
(By Simon Marks, pg. 1)