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YANGON – A new EU programme has been launched which aims to improve social and environmental standards in Myanmar’s garment sector. Smart Textile & Garments will work with more than 100 garment and textile factories in Yangon, Mandalay, Bago, Pathein and other regions. With engineers and local and European experts, the project will deliver on-site assessments and trainings on topics such as human resource management systems and workplace communications, occupational safety and health, chemicals & waste management, and energy efficiency. Several international retailers have agreed to support the new programme, including H&M, Bestseller and C&A.
“The European Union’s unwavering commitment and support plays important role in improving decent work conditions and responsible business practices in Myanmar. We thank the EU for supporting this Smart Textile & Garments project,” said Permanent Secretary U Myo Aung from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population.
“Since 2013, Myanmar’s garment sector has witnessed staggering export-oriented growth. The garment industry has served largely the European market and created job opportunities for thousands, mostly women. SMART Myanmar has proven to be an extremely relevant programme in accompanying Myanmar’s apparel industry’s shift to more sustainable practices,” added Pedro Campo Llopis, deputy head of development cooperation at the EU Delegation to Myanmar. “Europe is one of the world’s largest consumers markets and European consumers pay a lot of attention where the products they buy come from and how they are produced. Sustainable production and respect for international labour standards are therefore important topics in the EU’s trade relations with Myanmar and this makes our cooperation with the Myanmar garment sector through the Smart Textiles & Garments programme so important.”
Said Jacob Clere, team leader Smart Myanmar: “We are grateful to the support and participation of our partners over the previous years, especially the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association. In cooperation with the MGMA we were able to conduct training and consultancy programs with 299 garment, textile and footwear factories since 2016, implementing thousands of improvements related to safe workplaces, effective HR management and energy efficiency, In our new project phase we aim to further strengthen sustainable production practices and responsible supply chains in Myanmar and Europe.”


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