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Can Myanmar’s garment sector reach its full potential?

After a United Nations (UN) report this week branded Myanmar’s refugee problem one of the world’s worst humanitarian and human rights crises, David Birnbaum looks at the knock-on impact for the country’s garment export sector. He argues that while Myanmar is one of the few alternatives to China for high value-added, complex and difficult-to-make products, its poor […]

Rakhine and wage issues weigh on Myanmar Garment Industry

  Rakhine and wage issues weigh on Myanmar Myanmar’s garment exports may be thriving, but the on-going issue in the Rakhine State and rising wages are the latest shadows on the horizon. The garment sector is a jewel in newly-democratic Myanmar’s export crown; now the second largest revenue earner after natural gas. Yet all too often […]

Myanmar makers confident despite sector slowdown

The Myanmar apparel export industry continues to grow, but at a slower pace than last year as a result of added political risk from the persecution and abuse against Rohingya Muslims on the border with Bangladesh, which has received widespread international condemnation. Despite this, the sector is confident garment exports will likely exceed US$3bn in 2018, and footwear will […]

Researchers study impact of Myanmar minimum wage rise

As part of an ongoing programme to improve labour conditions in the garment industry, a European multi stakeholder initiative has started a research project on living wages in Myanmar. The Southeast Asian nation’s legal minimum wage increased from MMK 3600 to MMk 4,800(US$3.5) per day in May, and now Fair Wear Foundation and Dutch trade […]

Garment Industry Must Raise Value Proposition to Stay Sustainable

2017 was a strong year for the garment export sector. During the seven months between April and November, some $1.5 billion worth of garment products were shipped out of Myanmar, bound for warehouses owned by the likes of Uniqlo and Primark in Japan and Europe, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC). The pace of […]

Dilemma on minimum wages could lead to better productivity

Concern is rising among employers over demands that the minimum wage be raised to K4,800- K6,600 ($4-$5.20) per day from K3,600 per day currently. That’s a potential increase in wages of more than 80 percent, a move which, if implemented, could put many companies out of business. The Confederation of Trade Unions in Myanmar (CTUM), […]

Myanmar’s Garment Industry Holds Unique Opportunity

Just as I return from visiting garment factories in Myanmar, a stream of press attention focuses on challenges facing this area. Although there are challenges, my trip has only made me believe in the unique opportunity this country represents to change the future of how our clothing is made. Amidst the media headlines there lies […]

Myanmar manufacturing set for takeoff

With the end to economic sanctions triggering an investment boom and an abundance of low-cost labor, Myanmar’s nascent manufacturing industries look set for major growth. In the space of less than two years, Japanese clothing retailer Honeys has increased the number of production lines at its second factory in Myanmar from five to 34. The […]

Massive Jump in Myanmar Garment Exports This Year

​​ In this financial year, the Myanmar apparel industry operating under the cut make pack (CMP) system, has exported more than $1 billion dollars worth of clothing till November 11. As against this, the country shipped garments totalling $408.4 million in the same period in the previous year, a massive jump of $690 million or 145 per […]