Mandalay factories forced to close

Lacking modern technology and competing with industrial zones in neighbouring countries that churn out ever-cheaper products, many factories in Mandalay have been forced to close their doors.

Over the past year, around 20 percent of factories in Mandalay Industrial Zone 1 and 2 have shut up shop, according to a spokesperson for the Mandalay Industrial Zone Management Committee (MIZMC).

“Products made in neighbouring countries across ASEAN are cheaper than ours. Their quality is lower, but people tend to choose the more affordable option,” U Maung Maung Oo told The Myanmar Times.

“Meanwhile we are facing challenges such as low-quality technology, a dearth of skilled workers and old machinery, while state support and investment into industries is weak. As a result, one in five factory owners had to close their businesses last year.”

The two industrial zones, located in Mandalay’s Pyigyitagun township, had a total of 392 large factories, 312 medium factories and 576 small factories in operation by the end of last year.

In particular, small and medium sized factories and iron melting factories have closed, said U Maung Maung Oo.

Those who have managed to remain in business face volatile conditions and are badly in need of support, which they hope the new government will be able to provide, said one factory owner who asked not to be named.

MIZMC offers monthly training sessions to help factories increase their competitiveness, and is also negotiating with officials from the Japan Myanmar Association to secure support for small- and medium-sized companies, said U Maung Maung Oo.

“This is not the time for individuals to strive in their own interests. Success can be achieved only through collaboration,” he said.

“We are trying to raise the spirits of businesspeople by offering to link them up with international companies and facilitate loans. We are also providing training, which could help them to run their factories better.”

 

Source: Myanmar Times

 

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