Western brands are showing increasing interest in Myanmar garment industry, according to Myanmarese experts.
The Western apparel brands are evaluating the benefits that they can draw from Myanmar’s massive and economical workforce against the country’s infrastructural drawbacks, Khaing Khaing Nwe of the Myanmar Garment and Textile Association said, according to an Eleven Myanmar report.
Compared to leading garment exporting countries like Bangladesh, China and Vietnam, the minimum monthly wage in Myanmar is quite low at US$ 40. However, there are certain drawbacks like limited access to electricity and some industrial zones get power supply from only 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
However, Mr. Nwe said the buyers as well as the producers expect the country’s clothing industry to grow as not only the export sanctions have been lifted but the Government has also eased the foreign investment rules making it easier for overseas firms to invest in the country.
According to industry representatives, there has been a surge in Myanmar’s garment exports to the EU, after EU reintroduced the tax concessions on imports from Myanmar, under its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) system. These tax concessions were in suspension since 1997.
Meanwhile, Chinese and Taiwanese producers who were operating their garment units in Myanmar as local entities have filed applications with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) to get themselves re-registered as foreign direct investment (FDI) businesses.
Majority of the garment units in Myanmar are located in industrial zones near the capital Yangon.