Manufacturing exports exceed $5 bln as of 27 March

Textile workers sewing on production line at a garment factory in Hlinethaya Industrial Zone in Yangon. Photo: Phoe Khwar
Textile workers sewing on production line at a garment factory in Hlinethaya Industrial Zone in Yangon. Photo: Phoe Khwar

Exports of finished industrial goods have touched a high of US$5.09 billion between 1 October and 27 March in the current fiscal year 2019-2020, an increase of $452 million compared with the corresponding period of the previous financial year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
As per the figures provided by the ministry, exports of finished industrial goods totalled $4.64 billion during the same period in the 2018-2019FY.
Additionally, the manufacturing sector has attracted the foreign investments of $432.74 million in the 2019-2020FY, according to the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA).
Myanmar’s manufacturing sector is largely concentrated in garment and textiles produced on the Cutting, Making, and Packaging 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 COVID-19 negative impacts, 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 inspection teams. 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 hit 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.
However, CMP garment sector which contributes to 30 per cent of Myanmar’s export sector is struggling with the cancellation of order from the European countries and suspension of the trade by western countries. 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, incomes from garment exports were over $1 billion higher than the previous fiscal year, according to the ministry’s data.
Since an outbreak of 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, such as Myanmar. — GNLM
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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