GMAC Urges EU to Restore Full EBA

AKP Phnom Penh, February 17, 2020 —

Partially suspension of the ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA) from Cambodia would may cause job losses and effect workers’ livelihoods, said Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC), urging the European Commission and members of the European Parliament to reconsider restoring full EBA trade programme to Cambodia.

The call was made after EC announced to partially withdraw EBA trade programme from Cambodia which may be effective in August this year.

In a press release issued on Feb. 17, GMAC said the EBA programme has been a clear success in Cambodia in meeting of objectives of development assistance, poverty reduction and the dignity of employment.

“We urge the European Commission and members of the European Parliament to reconsider their decision by taking into account the values and goals that the programme was used on when it was put in place nearly 20 years ago,” the statement read.

Employment in the sector of garment and travel goods supported by EBA trade preferences now exceeds 750,000 and has contributed to lifting millions of Cambodians out of poverty, GMAC said.

“The partial withdrawal announced on Feb. 12 will lead to nothing more than job losses and effect the workers livelihoods, especially women,” it continued.

“We urge the EU to act quickly to restore full EBA benefits for our sectors for the sake of sustainable development and for the hundreds of thousands of Cambodians who have been risen from poverty to gain employment, advance their rights and support their families,” the statement underlined.

GMAC represents more than 580 garment, footwear, and travel good production facilities in Cambodia that directly employ 750,000 workers.

By Chea Vannak