Manufacturing exports exceed $4.63 bln as of 13 March

Exports of finished industrial goods touched a high of US$4.63 billion between 1 October and 13 March in the current fiscal year 2019-2020, an increase of $577 million compared with the corresponding period of the previous financial year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
As per figures provided by the ministry, the exports of finished industrial goods totalled $4.059 billion during the same period in the 2018-2019FY.
Additionally, the manufacturing sector has attracted foreign investments of $432.74 million in the 2019-2020 FY, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
Myanmar’s manufacturing sector is largely concentrated in garment and textiles produced on the (CMP) Cutting, Making, and Packaging basis, and it contributes to the country’s GDP to a certain extent.
The majority of the CMP enterprises import raw materials, mainly from China. Owing to the current negative impact of the coronavirus, these businesses have faced shortages of raw materials since February-end.
At present, some CMP garment factories have shut down on the reason for the lack of raw materials due to the Covid-19 crisis, leaving thousands of workers unemployed. Even worse, some foreign entrepreneurs are also running away from their businesses. Those factories without official notification of closure will be inspected by a ground field inspection team. And, the factory operators can face legal actions under the Myanmar Investment Law (MIL) if they fail to comply with notification requirements for the closure of factories, said DICA Director-General U Thant Sin Lwin.
The labour-intensive enterprises are badly battered by the Covid-19, he added.
To deal with the shortage of raw materials for the CMP garment factories in Myanmar, the Ministry of Commerce, the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association and the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar, the China Enterprise Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar (CECCM) have been jointly importing raw materials through border trade channels and airlines.
About 50 trucks loaded with CMP raw materials are daily entering the country through Muse checkpoint. A cargo plane of raw materials from China’s Quanzhou city arrived in Myanmar on 17 March. These are part of the emergency supplies to 11 factories, said Director-General U Min Min of the Trade Department of the Commerce Ministry.
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, incomes from garment exports were over $1 billion higher than the previous fiscal year, according to the Ministry’s data.
Since an outbreak like Covid-19 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 like Myanmar. – GNLM (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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