Driven by a strong FDI inflow, the textile sector is rapidly growing. Its strategic location, abundant workforce and products quality should enable Myanmar to further increase its exports in the coming years.
With exports amounting to US$6 billion in 2019, or just over one-fifth of total exports, the textile sector is the country's second largest export sector. It is also one of the most dynamic as it is the third most attractive sector for foreign direct investment behind the oil and gas industry.
The sector is one of the main pillars of Myanmar's economy, contributing about 4% of its GDP and employing about 1.1 million people, 90% of whom are women. Its recent growth momentum has placed it among the world's leading producers of textile products, accounting currently for more than 3% of world exports.
Main export markets
The country exports mainly to the developed countries of Asia and Western Europe. Japan and Germany are the main importers of Myanmar's garments with 17.3% and 17% of exports respectively, followed by Spain (9.7%), Korea (7.5%), the United Kingdom (6.4%), France (6.3%) and the Netherlands (5.7%).
The dynamic of recent years has been to an increase in exports to Europe. At the same time, United States exports have also increased substantially, now accounting for 4.8% of total exports. While a change in this dynamic may occur in the coming years as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, this trend is likely to continue in the medium term.
Main export products
Myanmar's exports are dominated by the production of woven products: In 2019, the value of their export amounted to a total of US$ 4.01 billion. Knitted garments reached US$1.97 billion in the same period.
Myanmar's main exports by category continue to be anoraks, windcheaters, windproof jackets and similar articles for men and women. These items account for almost half of the total value of exports.
A major producer
With exports of US$6 billion in 2019, Myanmar contributes more than 3% of world exports.