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。”