The World Bank Study: BFC program benefits all key stakeholders and Cambodian garment industry

The World Bank Group just issued report on how Better Work improves Job and Life Quality in the Apparel Sector.

The report, Interwoven: How the Better Work Program Improves Jobs and Life Quality in the Apparel Sector, is  based on research from Better Work’s operations in Cambodia, Lesotho and Vietnam. The report includes that:

  • Better Work’s strategies to improve worker-manager communications help resolve disputes which, in turn, enhance factory performance.
  • Female workers involved in the programme learn to negotiate even beyond the factory walls, leading to more equal roles in their homes and communities.
  • Countries in the Better Work program have experienced significant increases in apparel exports-globally, and to the United States in particular.

The study notes that the example of the Better Factories Cambodia which was established in 2001 due to the bilateral trade agreement in 1999 between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United States shows the first to link improved labour conditions with greater market access.Inside factory

The study also indicates that Better Factories Cambodia has contributed to the growth of Cambodia garment industry.

“The BFC program benefitted all the key stakeholders by improving work conditions, supporting the growth of the apparel sector in Cambodia (benefitting all local stakeholders), and boosting developed world buyers’ reputation by sourcing from ethical workplaces.” the study wrote.

In addition, the report demonstrates BFC’s role in helping to promote the trading environment in garment industry.

“BFC has also helped to cushion the negative effects of external changes to the trading environment in the apparel sector (the end of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement quota system in 2005 and the global financial crisis in 2008–09).”

“The report findings from the World Bank Group would benefit for Better Factories Cambodia as part of its strategies. We can adjust any necessary areas where we believe it can help improve working conditions at factories and their productivity as well as the lives of millions workers, ” said Ms Esther Germans, adding that “This report would also provide advantages for all key industrial players, especially employer and workers.”

BFC’s Programme Manager Ms Esther Germans says “This report provides scientific evidence that improving working conditions is good for workers as well as for business. Employers don’t have to choose between workers or profit, the two can go hand in hand.  And that is what Better Factories Cambodia is about.”

The full report of the World Bank Group can be obtained through this link


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