The government of Cambodia recently passed an 11% wage hike for garment industry workers

The government of Cambodia recently passed an 11% wage hike for garment industry workers

The industry body representing Cambodia's garment sector has called on the government to help manufacturers offset a higher minimum wage and worker-benefit package due to come into play in 2018.

Among the measures being urged by the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) are revised export fees required by businesses in the country.

Cambodia announced at the beginning of this month that garment, textile and footwear workers are to receive an 11% rise in minimum monthly wages from 1 January 2018.

Cambodia garment workers to get 11% wage hike

Employers are also expected to pay 100% of the workers' healthcare costs, a cost previously split between the government and employers, and one it says many of its members will not be able to afford.

"Being just a production base, any increase in the labour cost of the country could potentially erode the country's competitiveness if it is not properly offset by an improvement in other areas," a statement from GMAC reads.

GMAC proposes the Export Management Fee – formerly known as the Export Quota Management Fee – which was introduced during the quota period, should be revised. It highlights Cambodia is now a member of the WTO and no longer subject to quota imposition.

"The government should consider reducing it. We understand that the government wishes to maintain certain revenue for the state but its also important to help reduce the cost of doing business in Cambodia, especially for export industries."

GMAC also adds that Camcontrol fees imposed on businesses for inspection and fraud repression should be reduced to lower the logistics costs of the sector's imports and exports.