Prime Minister Hun Sen recently urged Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian to explore the possibility of exporting raw materials by air and sea to the country to prevent job losses from a suspension in the operation of garment units. Both sides may suffer transportation costs but will secure labour forces, incomes for garment workers and production.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a 174-kilometre-long national highway in OddarMeanchey province, according to a report in a Cambodian newspaper.

The Garment Manufacturer’s Association of Cambodia said earlier this month that more than 60 per cent of raw materials used in their factories are imported from China, with many suppliers temporarily halting production.

According to Ith Sam Heng, minister of labour and vocational training, about 7,000 workers will face layoffs if the delivery does not materialise and, if the shortage drags on, about 90,000 workers will be suspended by March end.