Import of raw materials by CMP businesses drops by $104 mln

A cargo vessel is seen in the Yangon River.  Photo: Phoe Khwar
A cargo vessel is seen in the Yangon River.  Photo: Phoe Khwar

Imports of raw materials by CMP businesses have been valued at US$1.56 billion for eight and half months beginning in October in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which plunged from $1.64 billion registered in the corresponding period of last fiscal, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Similarly, exports of finished industrial goods slightly fell to $6.5 billion between 1 October and 12 June in the current fiscal year 2019-2020, a sharp decrease of $151.8 million compared with the corresponding period of the previous financial year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Myanmar’s manufacturing sector is largely concentrated in garment and textiles produced on the Cutting, Making, and Packing basis, and it contributes to the country’s GDP to a certain extent. At present, some CMP garment factories have shut down on the reason for the lack of raw materials due to the coronavirus negative impacts, leaving thousands of workers unemployed.
The labour-intensive enterprises are badly battered by the coronavirus pandemic, said an official of the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration. To deal with the shortage of raw materials for the CMP garment factories in Myanmar, the Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association and Chinese Embassy in Myanmar, China Enterprise Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar (CECCM) have jointly imported raw materials through border trade channels and airlines.
However, import values of raw materials by CMP businesses dropped by $104 million compared with a year-ago period. The CMP garment sector which contributes to 30 per cent of Myanmar’s export sector is struggling because of the cancellation of order from the European countries and suspension of the trade by western countries amid the global viral disease. It can harm the export sector to a certain extent, the businesspersons pointed out. The CMP industry has emerged as very promising in the export sector. The value of CMP exports was just $850 million in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, but it tripled within two years to reach $2.5 billion in the 2017-2018FY. During the last fiscal year 2018-2019, incomes from garment exports were over $1 billion higher than the previous fiscal year, according to the Ministry’s data. Since an outbreak like coronavirus disease might happen in the future it is necessary to prepare for a sufficient supply of raw materials. The public and private sectors will cooperate in setting up the supply chain on our own sources, including weaving, knitting, dyeing, and sewing factories. Japan is the largest market for Myanmar apparel, followed by the European Union. The MGMA has more than 500 members, and garment factories in Myanmar, employing more than 500,000 workers. Investors prefer to invest in countries with inexpensive labour, such as Myanmar.—Ko Htet (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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