A ship loaded with containers of raw materials from China arrives at a port in Cambodia, March 9, 2020. (Xinhua)
PHNOM PENH, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said that 12 ships containing more than 1,000 containers of raw materials from China had arrived at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port to supply struggling garment factories in the kingdom, the Khmer Times reported on Monday.
Speaking with officials in northwest Battambang province on Saturday, Hun Sen said China had helped facilitate the transport of raw materials to Cambodia amid the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in a raw materials crunch in the kingdom.
The shortage saw thousands of garment factory workers being suspended as factories struggled to continue operations.
The prime minister said more than 60 percent of the raw materials for productions in the garment and footwear industry in Cambodia are imported from China.
He added that Chinese vessels would continue to deliver raw materials to Cambodia until May when the situation (of COVID-19) is expected to ease.
He said due to a shortage of raw materials caused by COVID-19, some factories in Cambodia had partially suspended operations, affecting almost 20,000 workers.
The garment and footwear industry is Cambodia's biggest export sector, employing about 750,000 people in approximately 1,100 factories and branches, according the Labor Ministry.
The sector earned gross revenue of 9.32 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 11 percent compared to the year before.