Phnom Penh, 13 March 2023 - Switch Garment, a project funded by the European Union through its SWITCH-Asia programme, and jointly implemented by GGGI, TAFTAC and Geres, hosted an exhibition to showcase mid-term achievements and to strengthen links between clean energy service providers and garment manufacturers in Cambodia.
The one-day exhibition, opened by H.E. Say Samal, the Minister of Environment, Cambodia and H.E. Carmen Moreno, Ambassador of the European Union to Cambodia took place at the premise of Textile, Apparel, Footwear & Travel Goods Association in Cambodia (TAFTAC).
The event was joined by representatives of the Ministry of Environment (MOE), Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation (MISTI), international brands, garment manufacturers, energy service providers, financial institutions and development partners.
Improving energy efficiency in the garment industry is in line with the Royal Government of Cambodia’s commitments to address climate change and environment problems, as enshrined in the overall policies, plans and strategies, especially the Long-Term Strategies for Carbon Neutrality by 2050. Acknowledging the significance of the garment industries in Cambodia, the Ministry of Environment highly appreciates the project, which was well designed to support the garment manufacturers to implement sustainable energy practices, thus contributing to environmental protection as well as to greening the country’s industrial process at large, said H.E. Say Samal, Minister of MOE.
H.E. Carmen Moreno, Ambassador of the European Union to Cambodia explained in her remarks:
The European Union works with Cambodia in support of green growth and decent jobs. We contribute to the implementation of the national garment strategy by supporting garment factories to adopt sustainable energy practices and facilitate investment in clean technologies, which will enhance the competitiveness of the sector. The EU’s “Global Gateway” contributes to more resilient and sustainable value chains around the world, and in Cambodia. The European Union, one of the largest markets for Cambodian GFT products, has set energy efficiency as a key principle for shaping policies, investment decisions and, for the EU external action. The EU, the European Investment Bank and the European Member States contribute with over $25billion to support climate action in developing countries around the world, around one quarter of the global commitment of $100billion a year.
Switch Garment is now in its third year of implementation, and through events such as this one, the project aims to communicate its achievements to key stakeholders. These include the policy measures, the energy audits performed and investment commitments made thanks to the project's recommendations. The event also brought together garment industry actors and energy service providers so that they could learn about respective needs and services, and provided a platform to match demand and suppliers.
Ms. Shomi Kim, Country Representative of GGGI, the lead implementer of the Switch Garment project reported: ‘’To date, the project has conducted 50 energy audits, the most ever been conducted within a single project in Cambodia. Based on the energy audit results, we have walked our member factories through their energy consumption profile and measures to increase energy saving. As a result, we have secured almost 2 million USD investment made by the member factories, which is an inspiring sign for the greening efforts being realized in the garment sector.’’
The textile, apparel, footwear and travel goods sector in Cambodia provides over 800,000 direct jobs and needs to go green to remain competitive in the global value chains. Mr. Ly Tekheng, Executive Manager of TAFTAC, added: "The high energy cost as well as lagging infrastructure, productivity, and logistic within the country has decreased the competitiveness of the sector. However, manufacturers are starting to take sustainability as a competitive factor by reducing energy consumption, and understanding that they can lower down the environmental footage of their supply chain and at the same time cut down the production cost. This would make the sector greener, sustainable, and more competitive than other markets in the regions."
Mr. Patrick Renaud, Country Representative of Geres highlighted the added value of the matchmaking part of the event, that was also made possible thanks to the financial support of AFD (Agence Francaise de Développement): “The feedback of walkthrough audit triggered interest among many factories which now look into acquiring greener, more efficient and energy saving technologies. Today, the invited factory representatives were able to directly interact with selected providers of the main equipment used in the sector”, he said.
Switch Garment is a four-year project funded by the European Union through the EU SWITCH-Asia Programme. The project works on increasing the competitiveness of the Cambodian garment sectors and decreasing the industry’s environmental impact through the adoption of sustainable energy practices and facilitating investments in clean energy technology.
For further information, please contact:
Mr. Md. Mahfuzur Rahman, Project Manager, Switch Garment Project, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), [email protected]
Mrs. Pok POUN, Press & Information Officer of the Delegation of the European Union to Cambodia, [email protected]