A cloud of uncertainty loomed large over Myanmar’s garment industry in the wake of the EU threat to withdraw its GSP benefit even as the country made efforts to lure in foreign investments.

Relocation of Chinese garment businesses to Myanmar as a result of the US-China trade war and efforts by Naypyidaw (the new capital city of the country) and industry bodies urging the European Union (EU) to reconsider the potential move to withdraw its generalised scheme of preferences (GSP) benefit topped Myanmar’s garment sector developments in 2019. A UN statement urged apparel brands to cut ties with suppliers linked to Myanmar’s military.

Business in turbulence

Garment exports have been rising in Myanmar, especially since 2013 when the EU granted goods from Myanmar preferential access to its market under the ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA) tariff scheme.

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