Transforming Burma into a competitive sourcing hub
Burma, the poorest country in South East Asia, is seen as having untapped garment production and sourcing opportunities thanks to its low labour costs, large workforce and beneficial access to rich consumer markets. But it also faces considerable challenges if it is to become competitive.
Burma, the poorest country in South East Asia, is seen as having untapped garment production and sourcing opportunities thanks to its low labour costs, large workforce and beneficial access to rich consumer markets. But it also faces considerable challenges if it is to become competitive. Jozef De Coster reports.
Burma's garment industry has huge potential to contribute to national economic growth, both as a foreign exchange earner and a massive job provider. However, in order to achieve its full potential, the sector needs to overcome a range of obstacles, outlined here by Jozef De Coster.
The first ever International Textile & Garment Industry Exhibition, which took place in Burma (Myanmar) this week, mirrored the sense of optimism gripping the country's clothing sector.
The trade group representing the foreign trade interests of European retailers, importers and brand companies is urging the European Parliament to open European markets to Burmese products "without delay".
The US has lifted a decade-long ban on most imports from Burma (also known as Myanmar), in a move that is likely to boost the country's garment industry.
The US ban on imports from Burma is preventing job growth in the garment industry, rather than harming the interests of the corrupt elite it targets, according to a report by the International Crisis Group.
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