The garment industry in Myanmar has great potential for growth in the next 10 years, if it works towards development with strategic planning, according to the members of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA), Myanmar Times reported.
The garment sector needs to draw appropriate plans to obtain higher quantity and stable orders with higher profits. The challenge, particularly for the low-margin, high-volume cut-make-trim garment production that Myanmar specialises in, is to provide a more compelling place to set up a factory than its competitors.
The MGMA president, U Myint Soe said the association is launching a project management team, aiming to work with the government to improve the industry.
U Myint Soe said the garment sector is also quite important as an employment generator. It will require many workers as it expands its potential, providing millions of jobs.
With the preferential market access offered by the European Union and signs that the China market may also be opening to imports, the growth potential looks strong for the sector, he said.
According to U Myint Soe, on average one new factory a week is opening, with up to 2000 workers. However, the sector must overcome significant hurdles if it is to realise its potential.
Key constraints include the weak banking system, taxes on imports and exports, infrastructure and training and technology. These areas will need government support and a comprehensive strategy to overcome, U Myint Soe said.
He said that although with an estimated US$ 1.5 billion worth of exports this year, with new planning strategy, Myanmar could have $10 billion in exports within 10 years.
Currently, local garment producers in Myanmar mostly deliver orders for small quantities of apparel with specific designs and usually earn revenue from local and foreign businesses and by charging service fees.
In recent months, more than 20 countries, including Japan, China, Malaysia and Germany, have announced investment in Myanmar’s garment industry. (GK)