Monday, 24 September 2012

State of the Myanmar garment industry

The Myanmar Times reports on the state of the garment industry in Myanmar:
[Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association] president U Myit Soe said: “The countries that sell raw materials to Myanmar, such as Singapore and Malaysia, are geographically distant from our export markets in Japan and South Korea, which increases production time. As we are constantly under pressure to meet deadlines, workers are forced to work long hours and overtime payments are low.” He said Myanmar produces low quality garments due to a lack of skilled workers and total earnings amount to about 10 or 15 percent of an item’s total export value. “We are paid a ‘sewing fee’ – we do not design the clothes and we must import the raw materials too,” he added... “We’ve tried hard to develop the skills of our workers. But once the skills are acquired, workers often quit and move to factories along the Chinese and Thai borders in search of better pay. We are yet to get the high turnover rate under control,” she added.

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