India has offered to help in revival of 300 apparel factories in Myanmar. During his meeting with the Myanmar President U Thein Sein last Friday, in Nay Pyi Taw, The Union Minister of Commerce Industry and Textiles, Shri Anand Sharma also offered US$ 5 million Line of Credit for revival of these factories. The South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) will provide technical assistance in formulation of revival plans for these factories. Private Sector companies will play a big role in revival and building joint ventures with these closed apparel factories. “A delegation comprising the experts, officials and businessmen will visit Myanmar within two weeks”, Shri Sharma informed the mediapersons after the meeting.
India will also cooperate with Myanmar in formulating a common compliance code for standards and also the best practices in the factories, said Shri Sharma. The Minister proposed to the Myanmar President a Common Compliance Code – Disha Myanmar with technical assistance from AEPC – to enhance compliance standards in Myanmar for exports to developed countries. Sponsored by Ministry of Textiles, and helmed by AEPC Disha is an initiative to driving industry towards sustainable human capital advancement. Disha attempts to educate apparel exporting members on a code of ethics that covers all critical social and environmental concerns like child labour, health and industrial safety, etc. For capacity building in Myanmar textiles sector, India has offered 2 scholarships for 2 slots under National Institute of Design (NID) and 250 scholarships for textile workers under Integrated Skill Development Scheme. Scholarships have been offered in National Institute of Fashion Technology and Institute of Foreign Trade also.
India will be setting up India-Myanmar Apparel Sector JVs in Thilawa SEZ in collaboration with other international brands, said Shri Anand Sharma . India will also set up a textiles trade show – Textiles Expo in Yangon for traditional textiles with Handloom Export Promotion Council (HEPC) as lead council. Enterprise India Show in Yangon as an annual event: As was agreed during Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Myanmar to conduct an annual trade promotion event. Shri Sharma announced that ITPO will undertake this event during November 2013. “We will also facilitate in return an exhibition of Myanmar industry in India organized by ITPO free of cost next year” said Shri Sharma.
Textiles sector appeared prominently during Shri Sharma’s three-day visit to Myanmar as NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, during her meeting with Shri Sharma, also expressed keen desire to establish linkages in the sector specially in handloom an silk. “Entire sector as such will be brought in for cooperation including silk”, Shri Sharma told mediapersons.