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Cambodia: Adidas raises concerns over EBA while an European Commission pays a visit to Cambodia

Author: Chheng Niem, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 25 March 2019

"Adidas raises EBA concerns", 25 March 2019

Sportswear giant Adidas has said that the EU should balance the human rights provisions in its trade policies and the impacts of the possible withdrawal of its Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme.

The Adidas call came as the European Commission, after the two-day visit to Cambodia of an EU delegation, said it hoped to see “sustained and concrete progress” regarding the areas of concern.

A report … said that while Adidas agreed with the EU’s aims of addressing perceived concerns regarding human rights and civil rights violations in Cambodia, it asked that any decision to suspend the agreement “should thoroughly consider the economic, social and human rights impacts of such a withdrawal”…

“In case of a decision to suspend trade benefits, the European Commission should consider targeting specific sectors that are closely linked to the human and civil rights abuses. The garment and footwear sectors, with their significant footprint, should be excluded,” it said…

“This cannot be absorbed by Adidas and its retailers … it automatically leads to a reallocation of further investments in sourcing,” it warned.

Adidas said a withdrawal of the EBA benefits would put Cambodia at a significant competitive disadvantage to other least-developed and developing countries who continued to enjoy them…

“The European Commission and the EEAS [EU’s diplomatic European External Action Service] hope to see sustained and concrete progress in all areas of concern under EBA engagement, and look to Cambodia to urgently take the action needed in order to keep benefiting from EBA,” it said.

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Related companies: adidas