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China, Myanmar Firms Team to Build Garment Factory

Chinese company Sumec Textile & Light Co Ltd and Myanmar manufacturer Lat War will collaborate to build a garment factory in the country’s Bago region, a $20 million dollar project expected to provide thousands of jobs.

According to Eleven Myanmar, the two firms will rent a former paper factory from the Ministry of Industry in the Yedashe Township. The factory is presently undergoing modifications and operations are expected to start at the end of this year.

Dr Khin Maung Aye, managing director of the Lat War garment company, said, “Factory processes have started to operate and over 200 staff have already been placed in some parts of the factory. After phase one of the factory is finished, about 1,500 employees will get jobs and after phase two over 5,000, and after phase three, up to 15,000 [people],” Eleven Myanmar reported.

In an effort to further rejuvenate its economy, the Myanmar government will allow 100 percent foreign investment in the garment industry and foreign-local joint ventures under the foreign investment law.

Japan, China and Hong Kong are also expected to make investments in Myanmar, and although those investments are projected to create jobs in the garment sector, concerns over the country’s lacking labor rights could still hinder further moves toward manufacturing and sourcing there.

At this year’s ASEAN meetings in Myanmar’s capital city Naypyitaw, Secretary of State John Kerry noted that the nation has made significant strides toward reform, and said that while the country works to quell long-running civil wars and humanitarian crisis, it would have U.S. “support and friendship.”