with contributions from Aung Naing Soe
 on May 31, 2018

YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar’s garment sector may be booming, but the Rohingya humanitarian crisis in northern Rakhine State and issues over the minimum wage threaten to derail the industry.

Last week, these issues loomed large over discussions about the sector during the country’s first Buyers’ Forum. Attended by 18 international clothing brands sourcing from Myanmar — including H&M, Gap, Adidas and Li & Fung — participants homed in on how Myanmar’s duty-free access to Europe’s markets has augmented its growth substantially since it was reinstated in 2013. Last year, the industry pulled in $3 billion in exports and it employs roughly 700,000 workers — though the government hopes to reach an employment rate of 1.5 million jobs by 2020.

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