Myanmar exported around $4bn worth of apparel in the first 11 months of 2020

Myanmar exported around $4bn worth of apparel in the first 11 months of 2020

Brands worldwide are being urged to maintain their orders with Myanmar's suppliers, at least in the short term, despite the military toppling state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi from power.

"Bear in mind that the country is already reeling from the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the garment industry, we need international buyers to commit to carry out all of their existing orders, despite expected delays due to this coup," a clothing industry executive, who requested anonymity over fears of reprisals from the Myanmar armed forces, told just-style. 

"Buyers should not use this coup as another excuse to cancel payments. That already happened during the pandemic. Doing it again will drive tens of thousands more into hunger."

The executive adds: "Any company that makes any immediate plans to withdraw business from Myanmar ought to be ashamed. In the short-term the only ethical course of action is to at least attempt engagement over the coming days and to push for the release of the democratic government."

The executive warns that the political situation has declined quickly in Myanmar, with "night raids" of opponents being resumed "for the first time in nearly a decade, with the military rounding up those who lead any dissent."

He also warns that civil strife is likely. "It will not at all be business as usual, so long as the democratically elected government is held in captivity. There might soon be no business at all. The civil disobedience movement has started. All the doctors and nurses of the public hospitals plan to walk out today. They will likely be followed in their action by many, many others."

As reported on just-style yesterday, this week's military coup in Myanmar puts foreign investment at risk, poses the threat of trade sanctions, and may prompt some clothing companies to sever their sourcing ties with the country: Clothing sector likely major loser from Myanmar coup