中国工资上涨 柬埔寨受益 Cambodia reaps benefit of China’s rising wages作者:英语作文网 来源: www.en369.cn
中国工资上涨 柬埔寨受益 Cambodia reaps benefit of China’s rising wages
Inside a gleaming white and blue garment factory in Cambodia stand rows of second-hand Singer sewing machines transported from a plant in China that closed last year.
The Hong Kong-headquartered Top Form, which has 700 workers at the plant, is one of many businesses that have moved to Cambodia, mostly from China, in the past year or so to take advantage of its lower wages, which are roughly a third of those in China.
Double-digit wage increases in China and a shortage of factory labour have prompted several companies to move to cheaper countries such as Vietnam, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Angie Lau, chief executive of bra-maker Clover in Hong Kong, says her company has found operating in Cambodia easier than in India where it also operates a plant and that productivity at the Cambodian plant is rising fast towards levels in its Chinese factories.
Cambodia, a country of just 15m, is seeing its economy transformed by the influx and new factories are sprouting up around its capital Phnom Penh and near the Thai border as investment also shifts from Thailand.
The inflow of investment picked up sharply last year as Hong Kong Chinese companies and Japanese companies sought cheaper labour. Peter Brimble, senior country economist for the Asian Development Bank, estimates that overall foreign direct investment jumped to $1.5bn in 2012, up from $850m in 2011, because of investment in manufacturing, agriculture and the finance sector.
Larry Kao, general manager of Medtecs, a Taiwanese company, which produces surgical suits at its 4,000-employee factory in the Kampong Cham province in the central lowlands of Cambodia near Vietnam, quips: “So many foreign companies are competing for workers we wish the population would double.”
台湾美德向邦医疗国际股份有限公司(Medtecs)在位于柬埔寨毗邻越南的中央低地的磅湛省(Kampong Cham province)拥有一家生产手术衣的工厂，员工有4000人。该公司总经理Larry Kao打趣道：“大批外国企业在争夺工人，我们都希望柬埔寨人口能翻一番就好了。”
Mr Kao estimates factory wages have risen to $110-$130 a month, compared with $85-$100 three years ago. However, that is still less than China’s factory wages of $400 a month.
In addition to mainland Chinese and Hong Kong investors moving jobs from China, several Japanese companies have invested in the country in the past year, especially in the area close to the Thai border.
In early December, Hun Sen, Cambodia’s prime minister, attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a mall in Phnom Penh being built by Japan’s Aeon, whose president promised to invest in four more.
The languid tempo of the city’s traffic is changing with many SUVs – some driven by Chinese businessmen – muscling their way through the streets and Chinese restaurants are packed with executives from mainland China.
However, with such a surge of investment comes problems ranging from wage inflation to land grabs as industrialisation gathers pace. Medtecs saw a three-day strike last year – partly over wages – but Mr Kao says he is lucky because his factory only has two unions. “I have heard of factories with 14 unions, which would be like having so many wives,” he says.
The rapid development and the need to clear land for factories and large plantations has led to so many disputes that in 2011 the World Bank suspended all lending to Cambodia. In November, protesters who had suffered forced evictions congregated round the US embassy, ahead of Barack Obama’s visit to the country. Near a lake that has been filled in with sand in the capital, a 72-year-old woman complains that she was beaten till her head bled and then jailed when she protested against being evicted from her home.
经济高速发展，加上必须为工厂和大型种植场腾出土地，导致柬埔寨出现大量纷争，结果世界银行(World Bank)2011年中止了提供给柬埔寨的所有贷款。去年11月，遭到强制拆迁的抗议者在美国总统巴拉克•奥巴马(Barack Obama)访问柬埔寨之前，聚集在美国大使馆周围。在金边一个填满沙子的湖边，一位72岁的妇女控诉道，她被从家里强行驱赶时，因为反抗被打得头破血流，还被关进了监狱。
Like China, Cambodia’s government is criticised for its human rights record. But foreign investors see it as welcoming to overseas money and are impressed by the relatively well-educated young workforce. Mr Brimble says a Japanese small motor manufacturer, which opened a plant in Cambodia last year, told him its plant was operating at 80 per cent of the efficiency of its factory in China. Clover’s Ms Lau says while “China has the best skill set, Cambodia is getting up to par with China”.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a couple of foreign businessmen applaud the efficiency of being able to obtain a one-year business visa in a day, but say the “expediting fee” should be made a government fee so it could be paid legally.
Mr Brimble of the ADB says it is not corruption that is hobbling investors, but the shortage of skills for factories, which need engineers and local supervisors, and the high cost of electricity. Electricity costs substantially more than in neighbouring Vietnam and is unreliable in many areas. “If you have a business that needs consistent electricity, you need a good generator,” says one foreign investor.
Michael Choy, who manages Top Form’s plant in Phnom Penh, says while he would like to increase his workforce to 2,000, he is constrained by the need to train workers for the taxing work of making lingerie at the factory. The expensive lingerie in Top Form’s range of products are still made by the company’s two remaining factories in China with the workers in Cambodia limited to bras with little embroidery.
While no one is complaining of labour shortages yet, garment manufacturers say it will become a constraint. “It is impossible for Cambodia to take all the orders shifting out of China,” says Ken Loo, secretary-general of the national garment manufacturers association, pointing to Cambodia’s garment exports of just $4.3bn last year. Vietnam and Bangladesh had textile and apparel exports of about $20bn while China’s were $270bn in the first 10 months of last year.
“Orders shifting out of China are tens of billions. No country in southeast Asia could take that on its own,” says Mr Loo. As work moves from China to places such as Bangladesh and Cambodia, where wages rise as a result, consumers in the west will have to get used to higher prices for garments and shoes.