Garment sector faces struggle if EU withdraws tax exemptions

The garment sector in Myanmar will struggle if the European Union (EU) revokes its GSP/ EBA privileges on Myanmar, say experts. According to EU EBA Monitoring Mission, the EU listed Myanmar as one of top ten countries in clothing imports. GSP/ EBA are a special privilege for member countries in which taxes are exempted for products that are exported to EU countries. The EU granted the GSP/ EBA privilege to Myanmar in June 2013. Tax exemption ranges from 8-15 percent depending on clothing types.  An EU mission recently started its three-day visit to Myanmar to monitor human rights issues in the country and meet with ILO, labour unions, factory owners and civic organizations. Based on the findings, the mission will recommend whether the EU should withdraw the GSP/ EBA or not. Garment exports to the EU have seen growth since 2013 and the share of the EU in 2018 reached 55 percent of Myanmar’s total garment exports.

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