Myanmar Economy | Manufacturing in Myanmar
Myanmar‘s manufacturing sector, which has traditionally been dominated by the textile industry, is in the process of recovering from the decimating effect of international sanctions.
It is estimated that in 2003 Myanmar was home to between 300 – 400 textile factories. The apparel industry accounted for 85% of the nation’s exports. In 2002, the US imported approximately $356.4 million of clothing and other goods from Myanmar. Over the first three years of sanctions Myanmar’s exports declined by approximately 60%. Exports to the U.S. fell to zero. According to the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association current output is close to pre-sanctions levels. Japan and Korea are now Myanmar’s key export markets.
To date Myanmar has failed to attract more sophisticated manufactures. However, in a recent announcement Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Malaysia’s Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd said they will jointly produce several thousand small passenger cars and pickup trucks in Yangon. Vehicles will be assembled rather than manufactured, but the proposed project has nonetheless been warmly received as is a welcome fillip for Myanmar’s transitioning manufacturing sector. Similarly Teijin Frontier Co. part of the Teijin Group’s (Teijin) fiber-products converting company has announced that it will establish Teijin Frontier Myanmar Co., Ltd. The Myanmar based entity will not be involved in manufacturing but Teijin’s entry into Myanmar bodes well for the future.