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August 12, 2020

Myanmar aims for $ 5 bln from garment export in 2019-2020 FY

Geuston Amaua, Garment Factory in Thilawa Special Economic  Zone.  Photo: Ye Htut Tin (NLM)
Geuston Amaua, Garment Factory in Thilawa Special Economic Zone.  Photo: Ye Htut Tin (NLM)

By Kyaw Htike Soe

Myanmar’s garment export saw a five-fold increase in the number of workers in the past five years, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Revenue from Myanmar’s garment and textile sector from 1 to 25 October this year reached US$ 325 million, an increase of $ 38 million when compared with the same period in the financial year 2018-2019, the ministry’s figure showed.The Southeast Asian country fetched some $ 287 million from garment exports in the same period last year.
The country’s export income from the garment and textile industry has increased threefold, the ministry reported.The total export earnings from Myanmar’s garment and textile industry is expected to reach $ 10 billion by 2024, said an official from the Myanmar Garment Entrepreneurs Association. Myanmar’s CMP garment sector earns about $ 300 million yearly and the country will get $ 3 billion if it can manage to shift from the CMP system to the FOB system, the MGEA said. Myanmar’s CMP exports were worth $ 2.2 billion during the period from April to September this year, the ministry’s data said. CMP garment exports were valued at $ 850 million in the financial year 2015-2016. Myanmar earned around $ 2 billion from CMP exports in the financial year 2016-2017 and fetched nearly $ 2.5 billion 2017-2018 FY.
Being the country’s leading export sector, Myanmar’s garment exports increased to around $4.6 billion in the 2018-2019 FY from $349 million in 2010– making up nearly 10 per cent of the country’s export revenues. The MGMA predicts that nearly 600 factories in the country offer job opportunities for approximately 500,000 workers.Myanmar’s garment and textile sector is on the right track to meet a target of $10 billion in exports set under a 10-year plan.The export target and an aim to create one million job prospects in the sector had been designed under the Myanmar Garment Industry Strategic Plan 2014-2024 by the MGMA.The growth of Myanmar’s clothing and textile industry has materialized at a time when wages in other regional production hubs such as Viet Nam and Cambodia have been hiked.

Workers at a production line of a garment factory in Hlinethaya Industrial Zone.  Photo: Phoe Khawar
Workers at a production line of a garment factory in Hlinethaya Industrial Zone.  Photo: Phoe Khawar

Myanmar is one of the fastest-growing garment and footwear suppliers in the world, with apparel exports alone climbing from $ 2.7 billion to $ 3.86 billion last year. The European Union (EU) is its biggest market, with imports jumping 21.7 % year-on-year to $ 2.02 billion from $ 1.66 billion, accounting for more than half of the country’s ready-made garment exports.
Myanmar’s garment exports have been increasing yearly, especially since 2013, when the European Union granted goods from the Southeast Asian country preferential access to its market. The promising garment industry in Myanmar has grown significantly in the past five years.According to figures compiled by SMART Myanmar, Myanmar exported garments worth some $ 519 million to Germany in 2017and clothing valued at $ 213 million to the United Kingdom in the same year.
As many as 1.1 million Myanmar people are currently employed in garment, textile, footwear and accessories factories across the country.
Additional tens of thousands indirectly work in the industry through logistics and transport services.
According to a study conducted by C&A Foundation estimated that Myanmar’s garment and textile sector could employ over 1.5 million people by 2020.

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