Cambodia's garment industry could get a boost in investment from the UK after the government department responsible for helping British firms invest overseas said it would establish a permanent presence in the country.

The announcement coincided with the opening of a third factory for Quantum Clothing (Cambodia) Limited, the largest British company in Cambodia.

As part of a five-day tour of South East Asia to promote trade, tourism and governmental links, Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan revealed that UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) will reopen its office in Phnom Penh in the British Embassy.

"Over the last five years, we have seen trade relations between the UK and Cambodia increase from GBP100m to GBP400m, and we want to ensure that this upward trend continues," she said. Cambodia's garment sector has traditionally attracted the biggest share of UK investment.

"I urge those companies eager to explore the wealth of opportunities available to them in Cambodia, to take advantage of the chance to get the support they need to be competitive on the world stage, and secure lucrative new business and contracts overseas," she added.

The Quantum Clothing Group was created as a result of a management buyout of the UK's Coats Viyella in December 2000. It owns production facilities in Sri Lanka, India and Cambodia as well as joint ventures in China and sourcing in Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh - and produces a range of products including shirts, hosiery and lingerie.

In Cambodia, the company employs over 3,000 people, and under current expansion plans will be the fifth largest employer within two years. It supplies retailers including Marks & Spencer.