Brands sourcing from Myanmar are being advised to maintain close contacts with suppliers there following the military coup.
The Fair Wear Foundation, an NGO that strives to achieve fair working conditions in the garment industry worldwide, said it was “extremely concerned” about the latest political developments in Myanmar.
A military coup has deposed Aung San Suu Kyi’s government and detained the former leader, who was widely believed to be running the country by proxy, despite having relinquished the role of president.
The military junta imposed a one-year state of emergency after declaring recent elections fraudulent.
Fair Wear said: “We have approached all Fair Wear member brands sourcing from Myanmar and advised them to carefully consider the impact of their decisions on the workers in their supply chains.
“As a first step, we recommend to maintain close contact with their suppliers and allow them flexibility in terms of delivery deadlines when needed.”
Fair Wear said communication channels in Myanmar were unpredictable but it was too early to foresee the consequences on workers’ rights in the country.
“As there is so little information coming out of the country, at the moment we cannot fully comprehend what the consequences will be for workers’ rights and for doing business,” the NGO added.
In 2016 SM reported that many businesses regarded the formerly politically isolated Asian country as a “new land of opportunity”.
However companies hoping to establish sourcing operations in Myanmar were warned they would need to weather “a business environment fraught with challenges”.
“Myanmar needs to go through multiple transformations,” said Christopher Tun, executive director for Deloitte Consulting in Myanmar. “We see that the country has good opportunities for the longer term; not short term.”
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