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

By : Thu Thu Aung and Ruma Paul

YANGON/DHAKA : Short-term manufacturing unit closures and layoffs have now started to strike small wage workers throughout Asia as quarantines and vacation restrictions from the new coronavirus disrupt supply chains connected to China.

For 31-year-old Myanmar employee Aye Su Than, the suspension of output at Hunter Myanmar, which provides dresses for an Italian vogue model, came out of the blue when administrators knowledgeable its 900 workers virtually two months ago.

“They reported, ‘There are no orders, no buyers, mainly because of the virus we are likely to shut down,'” reported Aye Su Than, who is five months expecting and makes about $one hundred thirty for each thirty day period.

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

“We really don’t know what to do now… It is not easy to use for a job somewhere else in the course of my being pregnant,” Aye Su Than reported, sitting down in a tea store in Hlaing Tharyar, an industrial district on the outskirts of Yangon.

These kinds of bad news is becoming recurring in several sections of Asia’s a lot more than $290 billion textile field, which accounted for 60% of the world’s readymade clothes, textiles and footwear in 2015, according to World Trade Organisation figures.

Very low-wage workers are significantly susceptible to any world wide financial downturn brought on by vacation restrictions and quarantines as the coronavirus outbreak spreads from China all around the earth, roiling supply chains.

Intercontinental manufacturers from Uniqlo to Adidas have huge networks of suppliers and can possibly shift output outside China to fill the probable gap in output from that nation – the world’s premier attire and textile maker.

Still, sourcing strains in the garments field are deeply intertwined and factories in southeast Asia are dependent in switch on China for supplies like cloth, buttons and zippers.

Cambodia reported this 7 days that ten factories had now applied to suspend functions and would pay back partial wages to about three,000 workers.

The govt in Phnom Penh expects a overall of 200 to gradual or prevent output in March mainly because of coronavirus, influencing one hundred,000 of a lot more than 850,000 used in the $7 billion sector, which is Cambodia’s premier employer.

In Bangladesh, the world’s 2nd-premier garment production field just after China, factories are continue to operating but stress and anxiety is escalating.

“No one knows what will take place forward but the manufacturing unit proprietors are genuinely anxious,” reported Mohammed Nasir, a director of the Bangladesh Garment Companies and Exporters Affiliation.


Readymade clothes are a mainstay of Bangladesh’s financial state, contributing virtually sixteen% of countrywide output and about $34 billion worthy of of exports in the very last fiscal year ending in June 2019.

“Pretty much 70% of our woven materials arrive from China and by natural means if items do not arrive on time, the readymade clothes field will be afflicted. If the disaster in China is prolonged, the effects would be serious,” Nasir reported.

Bangladesh has about 4,000 garment factories employing some 4 million workers.

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

China supplies about 90% of materials despatched to Myanmar, which so far has not claimed any circumstances of the virus, but the closure of the land border to check out to continue to keep infections out has disrupted the supply chain.

“We can continue to export, but we simply cannot say what is likely to take place in the up coming a single or two months,” Aung Min, vice-chairman of the manufacturers’ association, told Reuters. “This is variety of frightening – the circumstance is unsure.”

A prolonged disaster could sooner or later see merchants confront a shortage of garments, although vogue big H&M Team reported it at present does not see the virus leading to any more substantial delays in deliveries.

“We are in shut speak to with our suppliers in China and analyzing the circumstance together with them on a day by day foundation,” H&M spokeswoman Ulrika Isaksson reported, including that the corporation was also checking out other alternatives for output.

Companies, too, are scrambling to discover choice suppliers of anything from cloth to buttons and zippers.

“It is not easy to shift the sourcing desired destination overnight. But buyers are at present wanting for choice resources,” reported Siddiqur Rahman, a main garment exporter.

Alternate uncooked content suppliers are becoming explored in Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan and India but then costs will go up, he reported.

“Are the buyers all set to pay back a lot more? I really don’t consider so. So, it is not that easy. But we are going to have to glimpse further than China to survive in the extended run,” reported Rahman.