Phnom Penh (FN), July 18 – President of the Cambodian Labour Union Federation, Som Aun, expressed deep regret that the opposition leader Sam Rainsy had called for closure of the EU markets to Cambodian products and would only reopen it with preconditions, saying that if the EU take the action, around three million people who are either direct or indirect beneficiaries would be affected.

In his intervention in French at the European Parliament on July 13, 2016 and posted on his Facebook page on July 16, 2016, Sam Rainsy said the European Union should close off its markets to Cambodian products and if they open them again, it should be with set preconditions, according to a report from the French radio RFI.

“We do regret to hear that Mr. Sam Rainsy has called for EU to hold off importing Cambodia products into the EU markets, since it would directly affect over 800,000 workers each of whom can support another three siblings at home. So that would represent around two million and if we include truck-drivers that transport the workers, plus other dependents, the total will be no less than three millions,” Som Aun told Fresh News this morning, July 18, 2016.

According to Som Aun, Cambodia’s garment exports amount to over Five billion per year and 45 percent goes to Europe, 35 percent to the U.S., 10 percent to Canada and another 10 percent to Japan.

“Actually, it is not the employers that are affected, since they are foreigners and they have factories in many other countries namely Laos, Burma, China, Sri Lanka…and so it would be the Cambodian people that would suffer from the action,” Som Aun said.