Asia’s garment industry sees lay-offs, factories closing due to coronavirus, Retail News, ET Retail

Asia's garment industry sees lay-offs, factories closing due to coronavirus By : Thu Thu Aung and Ruma Paul

YANGON/DHAKA : Temporary manufacturing unit closures and layoffs have already started to hit reduced wage workers throughout Asia as quarantines and journey constraints from the new coronavirus disrupt source chains linked to China.

For 31-calendar year-aged Myanmar employee Aye Su Than, the suspension of generation at Hunter Myanmar, which provides clothes for an Italian fashion brand, came out of the blue when professionals knowledgeable its 900 employees practically two weeks ago.

“They claimed, ‘There are no orders, no consumers, since of the virus we are likely to shut down,'” claimed Aye Su Than, who is five months expecting and would make about $a hundred thirty per month.

She claimed she acquired $320 in compensation from the manufacturing unit, which declined to remark when contacted.

“We do not know what to do now… It is not simple to use for a work in other places for the duration of my pregnancy,” Aye Su Than claimed, sitting in a tea shop in Hlaing Tharyar, an industrial district on the outskirts of Yangon.

This sort of negative information is getting recurring in quite a few elements of Asia’s much more than $290 billion textile field, which accounted for 60% of the world’s readymade clothes, textiles and footwear in 2015, in accordance to Entire world Trade Organisation figures.

Reduced-wage workers are specifically susceptible to any world wide economic downturn induced by journey constraints and quarantines as the coronavirus outbreak spreads from China about the globe, roiling source chains.

Intercontinental manufacturers from Uniqlo to Adidas have extensive networks of suppliers and can possibly change generation outdoors China to fill the opportunity hole in generation from that country – the world’s biggest attire and textile manufacturer.

However, sourcing traces in the garments field are deeply intertwined and factories in southeast Asia are dependent in flip on China for provides like fabric, buttons and zippers.

Cambodia claimed this 7 days that 10 factories experienced already used to suspend functions and would pay partial wages to about three,000 workers.

The authorities in Phnom Penh expects a overall of two hundred to slow or prevent generation in March since of coronavirus, impacting a hundred,000 of much more than 850,000 employed in the $7 billion sector, which is Cambodia’s biggest employer.

In Bangladesh, the world’s 2nd-biggest garment production field right after China, factories are however managing but anxiety is increasing.

“No one appreciates what will take place ahead but the manufacturing unit entrepreneurs are truly apprehensive,” claimed Mohammed Nasir, a director of the Bangladesh Garment Brands and Exporters Affiliation.


Readymade clothes are a mainstay of Bangladesh’s overall economy, contributing practically sixteen% of national output and about $34 billion well worth of exports in the past fiscal calendar year ending in June 2019.

“Practically 70% of our woven materials occur from China and by natural means if products do not get there on time, the readymade clothes field will be affected. If the disaster in China is extended, the impression would be significant,” Nasir claimed.

Bangladesh has about four,000 garment factories employing some four million workers.

Neighbouring Myanmar has a smaller sized field but is much more dependent on China, with the Myanmar Garment Brands Affiliation warning that 50 percent of the nation’s five hundred factories could shut down by March if the disaster persists.

China provides about 90% of materials sent to Myanmar, which so considerably has not claimed any scenarios of the virus, but the closure of the land border to test to continue to keep infections out has disrupted the source chain.

“We can however export, but we cannot say what is likely to take place in the up coming one or two months,” Aung Min, vice-chairman of the manufacturers’ association, told Reuters. “This is sort of scary – the problem is unsure.”

A extended disaster could sooner or later see retailers confront a shortage of garments, although fashion big H&M Group claimed it at present doesn’t see the virus producing any bigger delays in deliveries.

“We are in shut contact with our suppliers in China and analyzing the problem jointly with them on a every day basis,” H&M spokeswoman Ulrika Isaksson claimed, including that the firm was also discovering other options for generation.

Brands, also, are scrambling to discover alternative suppliers of every little thing from material to buttons and zippers.

“It is not simple to change the sourcing place overnight. But consumers are at present on the lookout for alternative sources,” claimed Siddiqur Rahman, a primary garment exporter.

Alternate uncooked material suppliers are getting explored in Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan and India but then expenses will go up, he claimed.

“Are the consumers ready to pay much more? I do not believe so. So, it is not that simple. But we are going to have to glimpse beyond China to endure in the extended run,” claimed Rahman.