Gap to be first US retailer to enter Myanmar market | South China Morning Post
  • Wed
  • Jan 28, 2015
  • Updated: 10:03am
NewsAsia
MYANMAR

Gap to be first US retailer to enter Myanmar market

Clothing retailer Gap announces it will manufacture garments at two factories in the Myanmar capital Yangon

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 June, 2014, 8:47pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 June, 2014, 8:47pm
 

Gap has announced plans to produce clothing in Myanmar, the first American retailer to enter the market since the Southeast Asian country began its transition to democracy three years ago.

Two factories in the commercial capital, Yangon, are reportedly producing vests and jackets for the company’s Old Navy and Banana Republic brands. They will be ready for sale in the US by this summer, according to a statement released on Saturday by the US Embassy.

While Asian nations have long had a strong presence in Myanmar, it’s only in the last few years that companies from North America and Europe have started returning, thanks to the easing of sanctions imposed on the country during its half-century of military rule.

There are plenty of obstacles in Myanmar, including electricity shortages and poor roads. But a cheap and abundant – though poorly trained – labour force makes the country especially attractive to retailers.

“This is a historic moment for Myanmar,” Wilma Wallace, a Gap vice-president, said at a ceremony attended by the US ambassador. “By entering Myanmar, we hope to help accelerate economic and social growth in the country, and build on our track record of improving working conditions and building local capacity in garment factories around the world.”

Gap – which will produce its garments at factories owned by a South Korean company – told The Myanmar Times that the plant would produce vests and jackets for Old Navy and Banana Republic.

The size of the investment was not announced, but the English-language newspaper said it had agreed to hire an additional 700 employees at one of the factories, bringing the total number of workers to around 2,000 at each site.

Gap said in a statement that it was working with US Agency for International Development, CARE International and its PACE programme to launch activities focused on technical and skills training for female workers.

 

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or