Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / Can Myanmar emerge as threat to SE Asian garment sector
Can Myanmar emerge as threat to SE Asian garment sector
Jun '12
Mr Shafiul Islam - President - BGMEA
Mr Shafiul Islam - President - BGMEA
Can Myanmar emerge as the next low-cost destination for global apparel brands and retailers, following China losing its sheen as a cheap production hub? Should this new development also worry garment makers in other South East Asian countries? 
The vibes emerging from leaders in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Pakistan seem to indicate that Myanmar could emerge as a potential destination for sourcing clothing for worldwide retailers and brands. However, they do not see Myanmar as a threat to their country’s apparel sector in the immediate future. 
It is a known fact that garment brands are in constant search for low-cost production hubs and in their quest, production hubs have moved from US and Europe to China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. This year in April, in a historic decision, the European Union (EU) suspended most of its sanctions against Myanmar, due to the sweeping democratic changes adopted by the present government and also in an effort to encourage further reforms. 
However, the biggest clothing and textiles importing country – US has still not lifted sanctions. It is also worth noting that the EU has not lifted sanctions, but only suspended them for a year. As recently reported on fibre2fashion, global apparel brands are gradually moving out from China, due to its rising costs. Domestic Chinese brands and suppliers to global brands too are looking at overseas destinations to cut costs. 
China’s loss could be Myanmar’s gain if it is able to attract the investments flowing out China or other high cost production bases, if it adopts correct investment policies and initiates sweeping reforms. Although, overall garment exports to top ten overseas destinations adds up to just around US $608 million in 2011, the pace at which these shipments are growing will make one sit up and take notice. 
For instance, apparel exports to Japan, Myanmar’s bigger buyer of garments, nearly doubled from $181.57 million in 2010 to $349.30 million in 2011. Likewise those to South Korea also nearly doubled in the same period from $123.89 million to $232.42 million. Likewise, apparel exports to the Latin American country of Colombia have skyrocketed from a measly $8,000 in 2007 to $435,000 in 2011, which again zoomed more than five times to $2.74 million in 2011. 
However, on the flipside, clothing exports too have declined in the last two years to major destinations like South Africa, France, Australia who are among the top ten buyers of made in Myanmar garments. Shipments to France have crashed from a high of $13.35 million in 2007 to just $500,000 in 2011. Those to South Africa have plunged from a peak of $136.72 million in 2007 to only $2.48 million, better than those to France.

Must ReadView All

Union textiles minister Smriti Irani addressing at the Texprocil Annual Export Awards. Courtesy: PIB

Textiles | On 22nd Oct 2016

Govt to extend special package to home textiles segment

The Central government is likely to extend the recently approved Rs...

Reebok Liquid Speed Grey. Courtesy: Business Wire

Apparel/Garments | On 22nd Oct 2016

Reebok’s Liquid Factory brings sneaker creation to US

Reebok, a pioneer in the sporting goods industry, has brought sneaker ...

Courtesy: GHCL

Textiles | On 22nd Oct 2016

GHCL to invest Rs 67.25 crore in textile division

Chemicals and textiles firm GHCL will invest Rs 67.25 crore in its...

Interviews View All

Vasanth Kumar
Max Fashion India

‘Traditional high-street retailers are now willing to offer franchisees to ...

Rahuul Jashnani

‘Online economy has changed the whole dynamics of buying habits.’

Manfred Mentges
Sedo Treepoint GmbH

We see a higher demand in colour management systems, as customers see big...

Kevin Nelson

Kevin Nelson, Chief Scientific Officer, TissueGen discusses the growing...

Johan Berlin
InvestKonsult Sweden AB

Investkonsult Sweden AB has been buying and selling second-hand textile...

Steve Cole
Xerium Technologies

Steve Cole of Xerium Technologies discusses the industry. Xerium is the...

Mike Hoffman
Gildan Activewear SRL

Gildan Activewear, a manufacturer and marketer of branded clothing and...

Yash P. Kotak
Bombay Hemp Company

One of the directors of Bombay Hemp Company, Yash P. Kotak, speaks to...

Igor Chapurin

"Now we can see the Russian trend in international fashion. And Russian...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies

October 2016

October 2016

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.


Browse Our Archives


Advanced Search