MANILA, Philippines – A Filipina entrepreneur is rocking it in Cambodia.
During his visit in Phnom Penh for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Finance Ministers Meeting, President Aquino met Juvy Ganalon, the owner of 21 Xiem Garments.
Ganalon has moved to Cambodia in 2006 to work in a garments factory. Three months after, she established her own business, employing mostly Filipino workers.
Her shop manufactures garments for kids and adults, as well as bags, that are shipped to Australia, and the US, among others. Her biggest customer is an Australian chain that operates 49 department stores.
“If you want to start a business, you cannot be complacent or complain too much. It’s also important to ensure that everything you do follows the law,” she shared in an RVTM interview.
The garments business in the Philippines has dwindled from being one of the country’s biggest dollar earners and employers.
Being a footloose business, investors moved to countries that offered lower labor costs. With the trend, some Filipinos who were displaced in Philippine-based factories that closed shop followed suit.
Neighboring Cambodia, which has been trying to get up on its feet after the wars and a brutal genocide, has absorbed a good number of garments investors–as well as Filipino managers with honed skills.
The garments business is now Cambodia’s biggest industrial employer, and accounts for unto 80% of foreign exchange earnings. – Rappler.com