Chinese garment factory eyes Cambodia outlets
WRITER: KHMER TIMES 16 Nov 2016 at 20:17
After years of supplying garments to major brands in the West such as Nike, Puma and Gap, one Chinese garment factory is now turning its sights on Cambodia as a potential market for its goods.
President of the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) Jack Chen said the Hongdou Group, a Chinese company based in Jiangsu province, was doing research into Cambodian buying trends and was interested in opening its own store in Cambodia, the Khmer Times reported on Wednesday.
Because the majority of products made in the SSEZ either go to China or to the West, his group will also look into the Cambodian market to see how ready it is for what he called high-quality products.
“Our working group will pay a visit to Cambodia to study the Cambodian market, where to open our shop and what kind of products Cambodian people like,” he told journalists last week during a meeting in Wuxi, China.
The Hongdou Group, also known as Hodo, is mostly involved in the garment sector and in producing rubber materials such as tires.
“We need to collect all this information so we know when to start our project,” he said.
Edward Kingson, director of the brand culture department at the Hongdou Group, said the move represented a shift in their focus away from their main markets in China.
Their initial plan is to open stores in Phnom Penh and expand from there. For their Chinese markets, they produce clothes for women and men, including jackets and other products.
Kingson said most of the clothes in the stores will come from the SSEZ, but some may be imported from China depending on the cost and demand.
“The price would be low for Cambodian people and the products would be high quality,” he said.
Cambodia has more than 500 garment factories employing more than 800,000 workers. The SSEZ has 103 factories and about 160,000 workers.
Chen said he hoped the SSEZ would eventually house more than 300 factories providing jobs for 800,000 to one million workers.
The majority of factories at the SSEZ are from China, but others hail from Japan, the United States, France, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Ireland. Although many are primarily focused on garments and textiles, some are invested in producing machinery, plywood and home appliances.
Chen added that an unnamed Chinese company was preparing to sign a contract with the SSEZ to invest about $200 million in the steel industry. They are also trying to attract vehicle tire producers to the economic zone as well, he said.