Since the US lifted its import ban on products from Myanmarin November 2012, followed by the European Union in April2013, the country is re-entering western markets. In July 2013, Myanmar became part of the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), further fostering growth with the abolishment of trade barriers to the European market. The garment industry has huge potential to contribute to national economic growth, both as a foreign exchange earner and a massive job provider. Despite some progress, Myanmar’s garment industry still lacks awareness on the principles of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) and social responsibility. This prevents small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Myanmar’s garment sector from increasing their access to international markets.
The overall objective of the project was to increase the competitiveness of SMEs in the garment sector of Myanmar and to set preconditions for replication towards other sectors. SMART Myanmar promoted the improvement of sustainably manufactured garments made in Myanmar, thus increasing market access to Europe for local factories. Specific objectives included:
- Relevant Business Support Organisations being capacitated to promote and channel SCP effectively, providing SCP services and green financing instruments;
- An effective marketing strategy enhancing sales of sustainably produced garments in Myanmar;
- The production of garments made in Myanmar becoming cleaner and more efficient;
- Myanmar Garment Manufacturers’ Association was supported to develop a Code of Conduct, which was implemented by garment factories.
The Way Forward
- Built the capacities of BMO which included developing strategy with MGMA, joint identification of areas for improvement, and the preparation of action plans in the identified areas;
- Organised workshops to create new SCP services (included matchmaking service offers between European buyers and Myanmar suppliers) for MGMA members;
- Improved awareness of SCP in the industry and banks. Participants from 30 banks were briefed on green financing and SCP. Garment entrepreneurs were shown the benefits from adopting quantitative SCP measures, through case studies.
- Facilitated more than 300 business linkages and new orders were received by the selected SMEs;
- Supported Myanmar garment factories to move from the cut-make-pack (CMP) business model to a full scale business (FOB) offering clients a larger range of services, to attract more European buyers;
- Trained 14 young engineers to further offer SCP consultancy 10 SCP consultants were employed by MGMA and given a hands-on training by international garment experts.
Duration:1/2013 – 12/2015
Total Budget:EUR 1,996,942.07 (EU Contribution: 90%)
Mrs. Simone Lehmann
53111 Bonn, Germany