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Challenges to the Cambodian Garment Industry in the Global Garment Value Chain


  • Kaoru Natsuda

    (Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Oita prefecture, Japan)

  • Kenta Goto

    (Kansai University, Osaka, Japan)

  • John Thoburn

    (University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)


This article examines the competitiveness of Cambodia's garment export industry, on which the country's recent and successful economic development has depended to an unusually heavy extent. Using primary interviews and drawing on a wide range of secondary sources, it documents how Cambodia was drawn into garment global value chains, based almost entirely on inward investment. Despite its expansion in the face of strong Chinese competition, since the end of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing in December 2004, the industry remains vulnerable as a result of deficient infrastructure, labour unrest, official corruption and the absence of an adequate domestic textile industry, all of which serve to diminish its attractiveness to global buyers.Cet article a pour but d′examiner la compétitivité de l′industrie d′exportation du vêtement au Cambodge, dont le développement économique récent du pays a été particulièrement dépendent. À partir d′entretiens primaires ainsi que diverses sources secondaires, nous montrons comment le Cambodge s′est inséré dans les chaînes de valeur internationales de la confection en s′appuyant presque entièrement sur des investissements internes. Malgré une croissance économique qui en dépit de la forte concurrence chinoise se poursuit depuis la fin de l′Accord sur les Textiles et les Vêtements, en décembre 2004, l′industrie reste vulnérable en raison d′infrastructures déficientes, de conditions ouvrières instables, de la corruption ainsi que de la faiblesse de l′industrie domestique du textile, qui sont tous des facteurs qui nuisent à son attractivité auprès des investisseurs internationaux.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaoru Natsuda & Kenta Goto & John Thoburn, 2010. "Challenges to the Cambodian Garment Industry in the Global Garment Value Chain," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 22(4), pages 469-493, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:22:y:2010:i:4:p:469-493

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Souksavanh Vixathep & Nobuaki Matsunaga, 2012. "Firm Efficiency in Cambodia's Garment Industry on the Eve of the Multi-Fiber Arrangement Termination," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 359-380, December.
    2. Azmeh, Shamel, 2015. "Transient global value chains and preferential trade agreements: rules of origin in US trade agreements with Jordan and Egypt," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64601, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Prema-chandra Athukorala & Raveen Ekanayake, 2014. "Repositioning in the Global Apparel Value Chain in the Post-MFA Era: Strategic Issues and Evidence from Sri Lanka," Departmental Working Papers 2014-17, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
    4. Cornelia Staritz, 2011. "Making the Cut? Low-Income Countries and the Global Clothing Value Chain in a Post-Quota and Post-Crisis World," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2547.
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1344-:d:106573 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Buttmann, Vera, 2017. "The clash of rural-urban migrants and real estate investors on Phnom Penh's housing market: Prospects for garment workers," IPE Working Papers 91/2017, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    7. Azmeh, Shamel & Nadvi, Khalid, 2014. "Asian firms and the restructuring of global value chains," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 708-717.
    8. Savchenko, Yevgeniya & Acevedo, Gladys Lopez, 2012. "Female wages in the apparel industry post-MFA : the cases of Cambodia and Sri Lanka," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6061, The World Bank.
    9. World Bank, 2013. "Where Have All the Poor Gone? : Cambodia Poverty Assessment 2013," World Bank Other Operational Studies 17546, The World Bank.
    10. Azmeh, Shamel & Nadvi, Khalid, 2014. "Asian firms and the restructuring of global value chains," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 56666, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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