Everything But Arms

EU punishes Cambodia over human rights abuses

In December 2019, Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen dismissed a threat from the European Union (EU) to halt special trade privileges over human rights issues. “I don’t care, if (they) want to do whatever, do it,” Hun Sen said in a speech at a university graduation ceremony in the capital city of Phnom Penh.

5 March 2020

Cambodia will not give in to EU trade preferences

Cambodia's strongman leader Hun Sen said Tuesday his country would not "bow its head" to the European Union (EU) as the bloc prepares to decide whether to cancel trade benefits to the kingdom over its human rights record.But premier Hun Sen warned of economic rough seas ahead for his country, with some garment factories likely to close in the coming weeks as key supply chains from China slow amid the coronavirus crisis. The EU is set to decide on Wednesday whether to s

12 February 2020

Cambodia’s rice farmers in serious danger

Half a million Cambodian farmers could possibly be looking at empty rice bowls if the European Union (EU) pushes through with the withdrawal of its Everything But Arms (EBA) trade preference.While the garment and footwear sectors stand to lose the most if the EBA trade scheme – which gives 49 of the world’s least developed countries tax-free access to vital EU markets for all exports except for arms and ammunition – is removed, Cambodia’s rice industry could be staring at tough times

26 August 2019

Revamping Myanmar’s garment industry

Myanmar’s garment industry has cemented itself as an important engine of sustainable development, with the country now the region’s latest hub for low-cost clothing. With minimum wages lower than China, Cambodia and Vietnam – all neighbouring countries with established garment manufacturing sectors of their own – Myanmar has attracted orders from international retailers such as Adidas, Gap, H&M and Marks & Spencer.Leading the country’s manufactured goods expo

16 July 2019

Hun Sen’s Cambodia could be in trouble

There is growing concern about the European Union’s (EU) proposed suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement with Cambodia, a move which could set the country back years.Established in 2001, EBA gives 49 of the world’s least developed countries tax-free access to vital EU markets for their exports except for arms and ammunition.While the EU has always warned that EBA preferences can be removed if beneficiary countries fail to respect core United Nations (UN) and International

3 June 2019

The rising cost of Hun Sen’s rule in Cambodia

On 4 April, a group of international buyers’ associations from the garment, footwear, sporting, and travel goods industries sent a letter to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to express concerns over abusive labour practices and human-rights violations. Already, Cambodia’s tax-free access to the vast European Union (EU) market, granted under the EU’s Everything But Arms scheme, is in danger of being suspended over such violations.

14 April 2019

Cambodia PM blasts EU interference

Cambodian premier Hun Sen warned against interference in the country's affairs on Tuesday, his first comments since the European Union (EU) launched steps to cancel trade benefits that would hammer the local garment industry.The bloc announced Monday it would begin a process of intensive monitoring to decide whether to suspend duty-free preferences under the "Everything But Arms" (EBA) deal.The move would deal a crippling blow to Cambodia's robust garment and footwear indu

13 February 2019

Why Cambodia needs China

Amid Hun Sen’s growing tensions with the West, Cambodia’s already warm relations with China has reached new heights. After a recent three-day visit to Beijing, Hun Sen announced that China has pledged almost US$600 million in aid to Cambodia.According to Hun Sen’s official Facebook page, the US$600 million aid will run for three years, from 2019 to 2021.

24 January 2019

Hun Sen takes on the EU

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s battle with the European Union (EU) intensified this week after he threatened to act out against the country’s opposition should the EU follow through with its proposed withdrawal of trade benefits. Cambodia is part of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative which aims to increase development in the world’s poorest countries. Under the EBA, Cambodia enjoys duty-free and quota-free exports to countries in the EU.

15 January 2019

Cambodia’s ambitious tourism plans

Last week, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen claimed that the number of tourists visiting Cambodia had increased substantially over the years and now the country is expecting 12 million tourists by 2025. He was rationalising the building of new airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to 18,000 workers in the Kandal province."France’s Vinci, the company overseeing airports in Cambodia, never expected the high growth of tourists travelling by air to Cambodia.

7 December 2018