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13 Feb 2020

H&M Group

Cambodia: H&M Group comments on European Commission's decision to partially withdraw Cambodia's trade preferences

"H&M Group comments on EU trade preference withdrawal for Cambodia", 12 February 2020

H&M Group strongly agrees with the EU’s aim to address serious human and civil rights violations in Cambodia. We have had consultations with the government on labour rights and freedom of association, and also to express concerns about the human rights situation. We are, together with local and international stakeholders, as well as other brands, continuously working to develop a sustainable textile industry…

Cambodia is an important production market for H&M Group. We placed our first orders in the country in the 90s and have been driving different social programmes on the ground to improve the livelihood and working conditions of garment workers…

The partial withdrawal of the EBA will have a negative impact on the employment of the people in the textile industry… Without an EBA, it will be difficult for Cambodia to create the necessary transformation of the textile industry, such as the development of an industry-wide collective bargaining agreement. It will negatively affect future investments, as well as predictability and trust, two crucially important elements of a well-functioning industry…

If Cambodia had complied with the EU’s requirements, as well as launched strategic initiatives essential for a modernised textile industry, …, the country would continue to be a very attractive sourcing destination…

However, due to a lack of adequate initiatives in developing the Cambodian textile industry, and a partial withdrawal of the EBA privileges, we will now further evaluate how the EU’s decision will impact our business and production strategy in Cambodia.