By  on January 25, 2013

The U.S. and the European Union recently eased sanctions against Myanmar, and the Southeast Asian nation is looking to become a major player in the garment manufacturing industry.

The country’s apparel manufacturers exported $900 million worth of garments in 2012 and that figure is expected to grow 33 percent this year, to $1.2 billion, according to Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association chairman U Myint Soe. That growth comes against a backdrop of rapid change for the country, which is still ruled by a military-backed government but has shown a willingness to reform and engage with some dissenters. Most notably, Myanmar released democracy leader, human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest in 2010. She is currently the opposition leader of the country’s parliament.

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