Myanmar

Republic of the Union of Myanmar │ ပြည်ထောင်စု သမ္မတ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံတော်‌

Since the early 1990s, the garment sector in Myanmar has contributed significantly to the national economy. Over the past three decades, the industry has experienced varied growth rates. Historically, the sector mainly served customers from Japan and the Republic of Korea. Interest from retailers in North America and Europe has been low. The sector was also excluded from accessing these markets when the U.S. and Europe imposed sanctions on the country in the first decade of the 21st century. Since the lifting of these sanctions (in 2011 and 2013, respectively), big fashion companies have increasingly sought factories in Myanmar to source their products. More than 90 per cent of Myanmar's 400,000 exporting factory garment workers are women, mostly between 16 and 27 years old.

The garment sector was expected to experience rapid growth until February 2021. The military coup has severely disrupted the garment sector in Myanmar, creating both instability and uncertainty over its future as a regional sourcing destination.

Given the current situation and the limited availability of reliable data, the Asia Garment Hub will not be uploading sustainability resources from/about Myanmar until further notice. We will however continue to maintain the Myanmar country page, as well as keeping users informed of industry relevant updates from Myanmar via our newsfeed.

Country Profile

Population

54,410,000 (2020)

Gross Domestic Product

constant USD

1,608 (2019)

Human Development Index Ranking

HDI (out of 189 countries)

147 (2019)

Industry

Garment/Textile Workers

Number of workers in the garment/textile sector

1,176,000

Women Workers in the Garment/Textile Industry

Percentage of women workers employed in the garment/textile industry

86

Number of Garment/Textile Factories

Number of factories in the garment/textile industry

625

Garment/Textile Industry Exports

(USD$ billion)

4.6

Garment/Textile Industry Size

Percentage of total exports

31

Key Garment/Textile Export Markets

Top five countries ($USD value exported and subsequent percentage)

Country Percentage of Exports
Japan 22
Germany 11
Spain 9.5
United Kingdom 8.7
Netherlands 7.9
Stakeholders

Government Entities

Government agencies actively involved in the garment/textile industry

Ministry of Industry, Planning and Finance (MoPFI)
Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MoLIP)

Worker Organizations

Trade unions, Union federations, and other worker organizations

Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM)
Myanmar Industries Crafts and Services Trade Unions Federation (MICS)

Employer/Industry Associations and Chambers of Commerce

Employers and industry related associations, private sectors associations and chambers of commerce

Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA)
Myanmar Textile Manufacturers Association (MTMA)
Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI)

Development Agencies/ International Organizations

National and international development organizations working within the garment/textile industry

ILO Vision Zero Fund
SMART Textile and Garments (SMART TaG)
Aung Myin Hmu
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)

Civil Society Organizations/ Non-governmental Organizations

Organizations working within the garment/textile industry

Solidarity Center

Sustainability

Environmental

Environmental law, policy, and initiatives

Gender

Gender-related law, policy, and initiatives

11% of the female workforce in Myanmar are employed in the garment sector, compared with 1.3% male. 86.4% of the workers in the garment sector are women, and 13.6% are men. The median gender pay gap in the garment sector is 0%.

Sources

Sources of data provided

  1. Population: https://population.un.org/wpp/DataQuery/
  2. GDP Per Capita: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.KD?name_desc=true
  3. HDI: http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries
  4. Garment / Textile Workers: Labour force statistics (LFS) ILOSTAT Employment by sex and economic activity – ISIC level 2 (thousands) – Annual. EmploymentISIC codes 13-15. https://ilostat.ilo.org/data/#
  5. Women Workers in the Garment /Textile Industry: Labour force statistics (LFS) ILOSTAT Employment by sex and economic activity – ISIC level 2 (thousands) Annual Employment ISIC codes 13-15. https://ilostat.ilo.org/data/# Female / Total
  6. Number of Garment / Textile Factories: Sourced from https://smartmyanmar.org/sites/smartmyanmar.org/files/publication_docs/smart_research_note_01_19.pdf "SMART Myanmar estimates employee numbers by compiling data from the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association, the Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration, the Ministry of Industry, the Myanmar Industries Association and the Thilawa SEZ Management Committee."
  7. Garment / Textile Industry Exports: Eurocham Myanmar Market Guide 2020 https://www.eurocham-myanmar.org/uploads/af71b-garment-guide-2020.pdf
  8. Garment / Textile Industry Size: Eurocham Myanmar Market Guide 2020 https://www.eurocham-myanmar.org/uploads/af71b-garment-guide-2020.pdf
  9. Key Garment / Textile Export Market 

    https://unctadstat.unctad.org/wds/ReportFolders/reportFolders.aspx?IF_ActivePath=P,15912&sCS_ChosenLang=en  2019 Merchandise trade matrix – exports of individual economies in thousands United States dollars, annual (SITC codes 26, 65, 84, 85): Total of Garment (Textiles and Apparel) and Footwear categories; Percentage of Garment and Footwear categories per country divided by total Garment and Footwear categories, Total countries.

  10. Environment - These resources are thematic related resources on a rotating roster.
  11. Social & Labour- These resources are thematic related resources on a rotating roster.
  12. Gender: ILO calculation based on labour force survey in Myanmar 2019 https://www.ilo.org/surveyLib/index.php/catalog/2760
How a community platform in Myanmar can empower women garment workers

How a community platform in Myanmar can empower women garment workers

Women's Cafés are the place from where factory workers return home with more confidence than yesterday. You want to know why? Click "read more" and you will find out. 

News on Myanmar


The current situation of the struggling Myanmar garment industry

"Singapore-based CNA reported on July 9, 2021, that the situation of the Myanmar garment industry, which survived a military coup, was now struggling against a Covid-19 epidemic. Yes. Myanmar's garmen ...

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Garment workers receive compensation for factory shut down

"A worker at Honor Apparel, a Chinese-owned garment factory in Yangon's Shwepyithar Township, told RFA on January 8 it had paid compensation for more than three months after the factory shut down for ...

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For Myanmar workers, another problem emerges: labor abuse

"Factory managers in Myanmar are suppressing workers’ rights, with mandatory overtime and late payment of wages now routine following the Feb. 1, 2021, military coup that overthrew civilian rule in th ...

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Resources on Myanmar

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Business Resilience Guides: Guides for garment factories to build resilience during and after COVID-19

The ILO provides a series of six action-oriented guides for garment factories in Asia to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and to build business resilience. This fact sheet provides an introduction to the series.

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Arron Goldman  | August 08, 2021

The impact of COVID-19 in Myanmar: a study of workers laid-off in the garment sector

Myanmar garment sector, a major contributor to jobs and livelihoods for the country, has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Arron Goldman  | August 18, 2021

Skilled Workers Matter

The business case for addressing absenteeism and turnover in Myanmar’s garment sector

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The Asia Garment Hub  | August 16, 2021

The impact of COVID-19 on Myanmar's garment sector

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the global garment sector and has been felt in every part of the supply chain. Myanmar’s garment sector, a major contributor to jobs and livelihoods for the country, has been no exception, and during 2020, faced significant...

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Arron Goldman  | August 18, 2021

Executive summary: Moving the Needle: Gender equality and decent work in Asia’s garment sector

The report sheds light on the importance of addressing gender equality in the garment sector, while also providing ILO constituents and industry stakeholders with a holistic roadmap for action that places decent work and social justice at the heart of the post-pandemic business...

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Arron Goldman  | September 03, 2021

Executive summary (In Myanmar) - Moving the Needle: Gender equality and decent work in Asia’s garment sector

The report sheds light on the importance of addressing gender equality in the garment sector, while also providing ILO constituents and industry stakeholders with a holistic roadmap for action that places decent work and social justice at the heart of the post-pandemic business...

View

Arron Goldman  | September 03, 2021

Recovering towards a human-centred future of work in Asia and the Pacific

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Arron Goldman  | July 05, 2021