Dec 15, 2012

‘Thousands’ of new factories coming: MGMA

Myanmar’s garment sector is set for a major boost following the enactment of the amended Foreign Investment Law and further easing of US sanctions, an industry association spokesperson said last week.

U Aung Winn, vice chairman of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA), made the comments after announcing in late November that a garments and textile fair will be held in Yangon in mid-December.

“More than 300 garment factories operate in Myanmar,” he said. “It is quite a small number compared with neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, India and Cambodia. The garment industry can create thousands of jobs.

“In the near future, thousand of garment factories will appear in Myanmar,” he said, adding that many Western companies were in discussions with local partners to set up in Myanmar, while Japanese and Thai firms were also lining up.

“The December textile and garment fair is intended to showcase the different tools and machinery in use internationally,” he added.

The International Textile and Garment Industries Fair 2012 will be held at Tatmadaw Hall from December 14 to 17, and is a collaboration between Myanmar Industrial Enterprises (MIEs), the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries (UMFCCI) and Yorkers Trade and Marketing Service Company. The event will feature 100 booths from 17 international companies.

Myanmar’s garment sector earned about US$770 million in the 2011 calendar year, with Japan contributing $348 million and South Korea a further $183 million, a press release provided at the November event said.

U Myo Thant, a co-organiser of the exhibition, said it was time for Myanmar to expand its capacity beyond simple cutting, manufacturing and packaging (CMP) operations.

“The garment sector needs to do more than CMP work,” he said.

“The skills of our designers are improving fast and we have enough workers but we need to export products with our own brands and designs too, which will require us to have more and better machinery.”

Source: Myanmar Times