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Launch of SWITCH-Asia’s Regional Roundtable

EU- funded SWITCH-Asia Programme launch the Regional Roundtable on the sustainable development of Asia’s garment and textile industry on 30th March 2015, in cooperation with ILO. This two-day event was attended by local and international industry and business experts, representatives from civil society organizations and policymakers.

EU Ambassador to Myanmar Mr. Roland Kobia said, “The garment sector presents numerous economic opportunities for the region, especially for the most vulnerable countries, as it can create jobs and increase

living standards of people on a wide scale. But it should develop in accordance with fundamental social and environmental standards. This is why the EU is engaged in building a partnership for sustainable production, and consumption, in Asia. On the occasion of the European Year for Development 2015, the EU has taken an active role in designing a garment flagship initiative on responsible management of the supply chain in this sector. For this EU initiative to be successful, it is essential that it involves both consumers and producers – and this is the approach we have taken”

According to U Myint Soe, Chairman of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA), the MGMA has been working with SWITCH-Asia Project, SMART Myan- mar for about two years developing Myan- mar’s garment industry. Michael Strahile- vitz-Ben Eliezer (Chief Technical Advisor – Responsible Business) of ILO says, “The garment industry offers a great opportunity for economic growth along with large scale employment generation. As a latecomer, Myanmar has the opportunity to learn from other countries’ industry experiences, which offer different models of growth, which may support the development of a local responsible and sustainable industry.”

The Programme promotes sustainable con- sumption and production throughout Asia with demonstrative projects and some relating to textile and garment industry. Since Myanmar has been attracting increased attention from international experts in country’s garment industry, it was chosen to host the country’s regional roundtable for the first time.