Myanmar’s potential of garment making and export has been hindered due to lack of input suppliers for them. A report from ILO identified that current system of business of Myanmar garment factory which is CMP (cutting-making and packing) has to be well improved to FOB system to achieve the untapped market opportunities. And so Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) has identified it as one of the key changing point for the sector. And so MGMA is working to turn the FOB system in place of CMP based business. This would open opportunities for the Myanmar garment makers to import their inputs from neighboring countries. Almost 90 percent of Myanmar’s garment factory inputs are imported.
Being a strong and skilled textile and clothing manufacturing neighbor Bangladesh can assist Myanmar’s garment factories by providing inputs in low cost and in lowest possible time. Government of Bangladesh and trade associations should come forward in this to discuss among Myanmar’s counter parts to open these opportunities and increase textile export to Myanmar. MGMA meanwhile is working to make sure duty free import of raw materials for garment factories. There would be opportunities for garment factories to access bank loans for importing fabric, accessories etc. for garment making for export. All these facilities are about to open great opportunities for Bangladesh and other textile exporters like India, China, Vietnam and Pakistan in Myanmar garment industry. If Bangladesh can come forward in time by developing inter government, interbank and inter trade association relationship, Bangladesh should gain advantage of being closest neighbor and one of the premier textile manufacturers.
Myanmar’s garment sector is fast growing one and has exported USD 1.56 billion in 2015 and its garment export in 2014 was 1.4 billion, means it is growing in around 11.5 percent pace. By this time MGMA has set an ambitious target to reaching USD 10 billion by 2025. “We expect garment industry to be in operation with 1,500 factories in 2025, with a total labour force of one million. To meet a target income, CMP enterprises are required to attract the attention of more foreign investors. The garment industry is making a concerted effort to turn the FOB system from a CMP system to create more job opportunities,” said U Myint Soe, the chairman of MGMA.
Bangladesh should never consider Myanmar as rival in garment making; rather it should help the country to grow. Inter government relation is key in this. If Bangladesh can help Myanmar setting a strong base in garment making by sharing its experience, Bangladesh intern would be benefited supplying backward linkage industry support to them. Bangladesh-Myanmar textile garment value chain would be very attractive to global apparel brads as this would be very strong in quality and cost.