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Flow of materials into Myanmar expected to resume soon from China

Garment industry leaders said the flow of raw materials from China could begin returning to normal next month, as factories in the virus-plagued country slowly resume operations.

U Myint Soe, chair of the Myanmar Garment Entrepreneurs Association, said the local garment industry needs to be patient a while longer, as the rate of COVID-19 infections in China appears to be ebbing.

“The situation is bouncing back. We’ve seen the closures of temporary hospitals in Wuhan,” he said, referring to the city in Hubei province where the outbreak of the virus was first reported on December 31.

“Buyers said the factories started operating this week. We estimate textile supplies will resume during or after the Thingyan Festival,” he said.

Factories in Myanmar rely on China for about 90 percent of their raw materials, which were cut off by travel restrictions enforced by Beijing at the height of the outbreak.

“We have to endure until March or April, and will be able to operate again in May. Factories need to have contingency plans for such emergencies,” U Myint Soe said.

Local garments and electronic parts manufacturers may run out of raw materials before the end of March, said Ko Aung Myo Hein a leader of a local business association.

In the face of the shortages, factories have limited workers to eight-hour work days. Some plan lay-offs and a temporary shutdown of operations if the supply shortages continue beyond May.

One of the border gates in Muse township, Shan State, has reopened and is operating at 80 percent capacity due to the high demand for Chinese products. – Translated

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Source : Myanmar Times

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