A quick Google search reveals an array of often conflicting and confusing data about the Myanmar garment & textile industry. The truth is, scientifically rigorous data collection in Myanmar was not conducted in past years. Another challenge when examining the industry is the question of definitions. Which particular products are being tabulated? For instance, analysts sometimes list carpet, bed nets, etc. as “apparel” products in their research write-ups. Sometimes footwear is included and sometimes not.
Myanmar exported 1.56 billion dollars of garment products in 2014. This represents a near doubling of garment product export revenue in just two years. Garment exports brought in approximately 1.2 billion in 2013 and just over 900 million USD in 2012. Garment exports in 2015 are predicted to approach 2 billion dollars.
For simplicity and consistency, MGMA chooses to focus on HS product code groups. These are particular international product groupings – HS61 and HS62 – which are the key strength of Myanmar’s garment export market. Each of these groupings is composed of specific and internationally recognized garment products. Myanmar currently is strongest in non-knit apparel products. To the left is a snapshot of data from 2012.
One can readily see the importance of garment products in Myanmar. In 2012, garment exports constituted over 10% of all export revenue generated. As the most labour intensive of Myanmar’s major industries – employing over 240,000 individuals – the garment sector is an incredibly powerful generator of livelihoods and opportunity for hundreds of thousands of families in Myanmar.