Mr Won Ho Seo, President of the South Korean Garment Manufacturers' Association has stated that the proposed hike in the minimum wage to Kyat 3,000 to 4,000 per day could mean factory closures in Myanmar. He said it was unfeasible and would lead to mass closures. Should the Myanmar government go ahead with their intention to raise the minimum wage, the South Korean Manufacturers would have no options but to bow out.
The garment manufacturing industry is heavily dominated by South Korean firms, and there are around 100,000 Myanmar workers working in about 70 of these factories.
After the National Committee meeting on minimum wage was concluded on the 24th of June, U Aye Myint, the Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security was quoted as saying the minimum wage will be raised to somewhere between Kyat 3,000 and 4,000.
Mr. Won Ho Seo further elaborated that should the Myanmar Government provide more support in terms of adequate electricity supply, waiving of transport charges and taxes, and reducing the overtime pay to a multiple of 1, the manufacturers could gradually raise the wages from their proposal of 2,500 Kyats per day.
U Aye Thaung, a Myanmar manufacturer, said that the minimum wage should be amenable to both parties, employer and employee. Regarding the foreign investors in Myanmar, U MyintSoe, the president of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association said that they reserved the rights to go and invest in countries where they could make the maximum profits. "They were never here because they loved the Myanmar people, rather for the love of tidy profits. Even 2,500 Kyats daily will be a strain on us."
On the 25th of June, Mr. Won Ho Seo held a press conference at his Golden Shine Factory situated in the Mingalardon Industrial zone. This was to reflect positively on the proceedings in the CMP garment industry.