Myanmar’s apparel industry trade organization has set an export target of $2 billion for the 2015-16 fiscal year, the state-controlled Global New Light of Myanmar said, citing organization officials.
The Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association(MGMA) is hoping to see a boost from the country’s newly unveiled National Export Strategy. Myanmar exported an estimated $1.5 billion in 2014, according to MGMA figures. The MGMA also said that it had created 100,000 jobs over the past year as more foreign firms invested in the garment industry, which is now free of most international sanctions and boasts an abundant and cheap labor force.
The five-year strategy, the country’s first, was launched late last month with the aim of increasing not only quantity but quality of exports across six sectors, including the garment industry. The plan was drawn up by the Ministry of Commerce with help from international stakeholders and private businesses.
The Myanmar Trade Development Committee will oversee implementation that is focused on improving access to finance, trade promotion and increasing quality standards across the industry.
Myanmar imported more than $16 billion of goods in fiscal 2014-15, which ended on March 31, according to state-controlled media. Exports totaled more than $11 billion, leaving a deficit of more than $4.9 billion, up 88 percent from the previous year. Officials hope that the export strategy can help close the gap.