Myanmar’s garment exporters have made record earnings in the first quarter of this year. Exports almost doubled in the period from January to March over the same period last year. Maximum orders came from Japan and South Korea. The US and European countries are also increasing garment orders after Myanmar was allowed into a trade preferences scheme by the European Union. Many Myanmar garment factories have started exporting to the US. Now the Myanmar Garment Entrepreneurs Association is training workers, to enable them to cater to the rising demand for garments from domestic as well as overseas markets.
Myanmar’s garment industry is labor intensive and the industry’s growth can create a large number of jobs. The country has a long history of making yarn, fabrics and garment. Currently, there are over 200 garment factories in Myanmar, employing about 20,000 people.
Some of Thailand's top garment companies will be moving their operations to Myanmar soon. Outsourcing labor to Myanmar offers significant cost savings to western manufacturers, as Burmese workers are among the lowest paid in Asia. The nation has the potential to develop into a viable apparel sourcing destination.