Cambodia: Overseas demand for footwear products drops in early 2023

Cambodia’s footwear products are likely to see a drop in purchase orders early this year due to the prolonged war in Ukraine, the Cambodia Footwear of Cambodia said.

The association called for more promotion and diversification in the market.

Export of products, bags and footwear in 2022 increased moderately compared to 2021. However, in 2023 the export situation may face difficulties as orders this year have notably been down, said Ly Kunthai, chairman of the Cambodia Footwear Association.

At the beginning of 2022, the situation of orders was good but by the end of 2022 and at the beginning of 2023, the orders for shoes and bags decreased by about 30 to 40 percent, which is due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, combined with the situation of the crisis of Covid-19 Kunthai said.

“Although footwear export throughout 2022 increased slightly, , from August to December 2022, it decreased significantly,” he said.

“The drop was due to overseas buyers starting to cut back, causing some factories to reduce staff, reducing overtime for production lines and closing some factories,” he said.

To deal with the setback of purchase orders, CFA promotes and recruits new investors, especially overseas orders.

Cambodia exported garment, footwear and travel goods products worth $12.63 billion in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 14.9 percent, a report from the General Department of Customs and Excise showed on Tuesday.

Cambodia exported garment products worth $9.03 billion, footwear items worth nearly $1.74 billion, and travel goods worth $1.86 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 12.7 percent, 24.8 percent, and 17.6 percent, respectively, the report said.

According to Kunthai, Cambodia exports travel bags and footwear to the two largest markets – the United States and the European Union. It also exports to Canada and ASEAN countries.

Garment, footwear and travel goods industry is the largest foreign exchange earner for Cambodia. The sector consists of roughly 1,100 factories and branches, employing approximately 750,000 workers, mostly female.

The report showed that garment, footwear and travel goods products accounted for 56.1 percent of the kingdom’s total export of $22.48 billion last year.