Local plastic makers face rising competition from imports

Plastic makers in Mandalay are facing tough competition from imported products, local businesses told the Myanmar Times.

Foreign plastic products are much cheaper than locally made products because local producers are unable to scale production and instead face rising costs from having to import raw material and logistics.

“For production cost, we are trying to compete with the foreign countries,” said Ko Hlaing Aung from Mandalay Gold Star, a plastic production business in Mandalay.

In plastic production, raw materials are mostly imported. To reduce costs, local manufacturers are in need of better technology, which will allow them to produce better quality products at a much faster pace and at lower costs as well.

“Raw material prices are high. Meanwhile, we are competing with cheap imported goods made from cheap materials such as nylon and recycled plastics. We cannot compete with these products in terms of price because we use new materials for our products,” Ko Hlaing Aung said.

Local producers use raw materials from the US or Japan as these raw materials can also be recycled to make near brand-new products, said U Tun, president of the Myanmar Plastic Industry Association. Currently, negotiations are being made with the Commerce Department to produce import-replacing goods as a solution to warding off competition from imported goods.

Because of the possibility of foreign plastic businesses entering the country, local plastic businesses also need to cooperate to avoid going out of business. On the other hand, they can also cooperate with international businesses for export income.

Currently, there are plans to form the Upper Myanmar Plastic Industries Association to better meet the needs of the 6000 local plastic businesses.

Source: Myanmar Times

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