Myanmar’s garment export exceeded US$1.4 billion in the first five months (Oct-Feb) of the current financial year 2020-2021, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce. The factories are facing cancellation of order and slump in output, new orders. However, the Swedish fashion retailer H&M is gradually placing orders from Myanmar again after it paused in March. Then, more international fashion retailers such as Primark and Bestseller starts to resume new orders. The garment sector is among the prioritized sectors driving up exports. The CMP garment industry emerged as a promising one, with preferential trade from Western countries.
Nevertheless, they cannot still expect normalcy for now due to the possible disruption in the logistics and supply sector and other serious consequences amid the political instabilities and the COVID-19 impacts, traders stressed. Myanmar’s manufacturing sector recorded an accelerated downturn in the previous months as political changes led to factory closures. The layoff is extended, and some workers were forced to return to their hometowns. Turning to prices, higher material costs and unfavourable exchange rate movements contributed to a sharp increase in cost burdens, the HIS Markit stated. Myanmar’s manufacturing sector is concentrated mainly in garment and textiles produced on the Cutting, Making, and Packaging basis. It contributes to the country’s GDP to a certain extent.
At present, Myanmar’s garment export drastically dropped on the slump in demand by the European Union market. Consequently, some CMP garment factories permanently and temporarily shut down and left thousands of workers unemployed. Myanmar mainly exports CMP garments to markets in Japan and Europe along with the Republic of Korea, China, and the US. The export value of CMP garments was only $850 million in the 2015-2016FY, but it has tripled over the past two FYs. In the 2016-2017FY, about $2 billion was earned from exports of CMP garments. The figure increased to an estimated $2.5 billion in the 2017-2018FY and $2.2 billion in the 2018 mini-budget period (from April to September). According to the Commerce Ministry, it tremendously grew to $4.6 billion in the 2018-2019FY and $4.8 billion in the 2019-2020FY.
Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar