The Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) reported in May newsletter that 564 factories are inactively running the business, and 177 has no operation. The factories include foreign investment, domestic investment and joint venture businesses. China constitutes a majority of the foreign investment with 302 factories. 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 Bestsellers starts to resume new orders. Germany will also continue its support for Myanmar garment businesses so that Myanmar women can continue their livings, Germany Embassy Yangon’s Facebook posted.
Myanmar’s manufacturing sector is primarily concentrated in garment and textiles produced on the Cutting, Making, and Packaging basis. It contributes. to the country’s GDP to a certain extent. 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. Myanmar’s manufacturing sector has recorded an accelerated downturn owing to the factory closure triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and the political changes. The exports of finished industrial goods drastically fell to US$4.43 billion over the first half (1 Oct-21 May) of the current financial year 2020-2021, an extreme drop of $1.69 billion compared with the corresponding period of the previous FY, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
As per figures provided by the ministry, the exports of finished goods totalled $6.13 billion during the same period in the 2019-2020 FY. The IHS Markit Myanmar Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index, a composite single-figure indicator of manufacturing performance, signalled the sharpest deterioration in manufacturing business conditions in May. The higher material costs and unfavourable exchange rate movements contributed to a sharp increase in cost burdens, causing constraint to complete the order. It can do more harm to the foreign investment sector if the problem is still not resolved. According to HIS Markit’s statement, the PMI measures the output, new orders, performance, delays in the manufacturing process and stocks of both inputs and finished goods. More than 500 members and over 700 garment factories in Myanmar are listed on the MGMA, with an employment of over 400,000 workers. However, a third of garment industry workers are out of jobs in difficult times.
Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar