Workforce in Myanmar’s textile and apparel industry up threefold within last 5 years
Adidas, GAP and Marks & Spencer are just a few of the well-known labels that source their products in Myanmar. Thanks to the low labour costs, the apparel industry is blooming and increased its exports by an amazing 44 percent in 2013 and again by 25 percent in 2014, to a total of 1.5 bn USD. Most goods are exported to Japan and South Korea, whilst South America is being seen as a new sales market. Companies from China, Taiwan and South Korea, too, are currently investing in Myanmar, which has led to a tripling of the number of employees in the sector (currently 250,000). The reason is that the EU has included Myanmar in the GSP (Generalised System of Preferences), which exonerates it, as a developing country, from paying excise duties. Nevertheless, there remain some crucial problems to be solved, including quality, low wage costs, a lack of specialist workers and poor infrastructure – particularly in view of the target of achieving exports worth 10 bn USD by 2025.
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