Around 350,000 locals are employed at nearly 400 apparel facilities in the country

Around 350,000 locals are employed at nearly 400 apparel facilities in the country

The Myanmar Investment Commission has approved plans to build five new garment factories in Yangon's industrial zones, which will generate more than 6,000 local jobs.

Four of the five factories will operate under foreign direct investment and one is locally backed. They will all operate under the cut-make-pack (CMP) system, and according to the Ministry of Information, the new plants will be constructed in the Hlaingthaya, Shwepyitha and Hmawby industrial zones.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Myanmar's garment industry has been growing at an impressive pace in recent years following the removal of sanctions, with clothing exports from Myanmar shooting up by 26.5% in 2013 and by a further 27.4% in 2014.

Many countries have granted free trade or preferential trade status to clothing made in Myanmar, and forecasters predict garment exports could rise from US$1.5m in 2014 to as much as US$12bn in 2020.

However, almost all of the fibres used by the Myanmar textile industry need to be imported as natural fibre production in the country is small and there is no production of man-made fibres.

As part of its expansion plans, the Myanmar government is planning to develop a garment zone in the country to boost the manufacturing of raw materials and finished goods, packaging and export process.

Around 350,000 people are employed at nearly 400 apparel facilities in the country.

Significant growth seen for Myanmar clothing industry

However, as reported on just-style last week, while US orders of 'Made in Myanmar' garments are growing, uncertainty on sanctions and a lack of preferential market access is hindering further expansion.

Lingering US sanctions dampen Myanmar apparel trade