Global clothing and shoe brands, including Adidas AG, Puma AG and Levi Strauss & Co have written again to Cambodia’s longtime leader saying the country’s record on labor and human rights threatens to bring down sanctions on its crucial garment industry.
The letter urges the government of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to amend a trade union law, repeal the law on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and drop all outstanding criminal charges against union leaders.
“The credibility of Cambodia’s apparel, footwear, and travel goods sectors are at stake,” said the letter, seen by Reuters.
“We are concerned that the labor and human rights situation in Cambodia is risking the loss of trade preferences for Cambodia,” they added.
Government spokesman Phay Siphan did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment on Friday.
Labor Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said he had not seen the letter, but said it “might contain the same out of date concerns that we have already addressed according to the Cambodian law and legal process.”
The EU is to decide next month whether to strip Cambodia of its “Everything But Arms (EBA)” initiative after a European Commission report found that Hun Sen’s government has cracked down on the opposition, civil society groups and the media.
The EU accounts for nearly half of Cambodia’s exports, the country’s largest industry, which employs about 700,000 people and accounts for 40 percent of GDP.
The letter, sent to Hun Sen on Wednesday, represents major apparel and footwear companies, including Adidas, Levis Strauss, New Balance Athletics Inc, Puma, Ralph Lauren Corp, Under Armour Inc, VF Corp and American Apparel & Footwear Association.
They urged the government to amend the trade union law again as the amendments made on Jan. 3 fell short of international labor rights standards, fail to eliminate arbitrary hurdles to union registration, and restrict the ability of all unions to fully represent their members.
The brands also urged the government to repeal law regulating associations and NGOs.
“The current law enables an atmosphere of harassment and repression against civil society organizations and unions,” they said in the letter, adding that the government “should cease further baseless judicial proceedings against labor activists.”
The brands said they had contributed to the US$9.5 billion in garment, footwear and travel goods exported from Cambodia last year and many of the companies signing the letter have been sourcing from Cambodia since the garment sector was established in the country in the mid-1990s.
‘BIG LOSS’: This year might see the last generation of Huawei’s Kirin chips, as their production would stop next month because they are made using US technology Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is running out of processor chips to make smartphones due to US sanctions and would be forced to stop production of its own most advanced chips, a company executive has said, in a sign of growing damage to Huawei’s business from US pressure. Huawei, one of the biggest producers of smartphones and network equipment, is at the center of US-Chinese tension over technology and security. Washington last year cut off Huawei’s access to US components and technology, and those penalties were tightened in May, when the White House barred vendors worldwide from using US
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB
Nintendo Co is raising its target for Switch production to about 25 million units this fiscal year, people familiar with the matter said, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keeps lifting demand and component shortages ease. The Kyoto, Japan-based company, which in April hiked orders to 22 million units by March next year, is asking partners to tack on another few million units, said the people, who did not want to be identified discussing internal goals. Assembly partners plan to work at maximum capacity through December. The new production target suggests that Nintendo is likely to outperform its Switch sales forecast of 19 million
CORPORATE SCANDAL: Cathay Life has invested NT$13.3 billion in Bank Mayapada since 2015, but the latest loss of NT$8.8 billion has completely written off its investment Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) yesterday said it would recognize an investment loss of NT$8.8 billion (US$298.1 million) in Indonesia’s Bank Mayapada Internasional Tbk PT due to concerns about the lender’s operations amid a corporate scandal. The company said it would revise its earnings result for June, from a net profit of NT$6.52 billion to a net loss of NT$520 million, its first monthly loss over the past 17 months. After booking an investment loss of NT$5.2 billion in Bank Mayapada earlier this year, Cathay Life has so far recognized total investment losses of NT$14 billion in the lender, executive vice president