Around 90,000 garment workers in Cambodia could be displaced by the withdrawal of the European Union's "Everything But Arms" deal with the Asian country, a new report indicated.

According to Reuters, the European Chamber of Commerce estimated that thousands of jobs will be at risk of being lost if the EU finally cuts off its EBA agreement with the Cambodian government.

Labor activists also warned that the biggest fashion brands doing business in the country may downsize, causing a mass layoff that could be devastating to the affected workers who rely on the Cambodian garments sector.

Aside from thousands of job displacements, employees in garment factories, who are mostly women, could be exposed to exploitation when they apply for jobs in other sectors such as entertainment services.

Khun Tharo of the Center for Alliance of Human and Labor Rights argued that if displaced female workers decide to migrate to Thailand like many other Cambodians, there is the threat of being dragged into modern-day slavery.

Secretary-general at the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC), Ken Loo, added that the EBA deal has not even been withdrawn officially but the impact of the withdrawal threat is already being felt around the country.

As proof of the EBA issue's effects, Cambodian exports to the bloc slumped by around $600 million during the first half of this year. Koo said he believes there will be mass job losses by the second quarter of next year once Cambodia's trade preferences to Europe are revoked.

Several garments and clothing companies have already expressed doubts about surviving in Cambodia should the EBA deal be revoked. Fears for the fate of the country's garment sector increase as the days pass despite Prime Minister Hun Sen's backing from several European countries.

Former Singaporean Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Yeo, wrote in a recent op-ed that the European Union, as well as the United States, should not give up easily on Cambodia, especially at this time.

Yeo noted that while there may be different views in terms of last year's election results as well as issues with labor and human rights, Cambodia has expressed willingness to implement reforms and promote peace.

The former Singaporean minister went on to explain that economic and political views should not be a basis for the EU and the U.S. to lift trade preferences as this could be harmful to Cambodia's economic aspirations.

Cambodia was also recognized as a link between the ASEAN region and Europe before the EBA withdrawal process started. While the kingdom is small and considered a late bloomer in economic ascent, it has retained good trade relations with the EU in the past.

Some economists noted that Cambodia can reach an upper-middle-income economy if it continues the road towards economic growth and if it retains steady GDP development. However, the EBA's withdrawal can prove to be a huge challenge and stumbling block.