This paper analyses labour migration and relocation of apparel production between Thailand and Myanmar during the first half of the 2010s. For a long time, unskilled migrant workers allowed labour-intensive industries such as the apparel sector to flourish in Thailand. However, higher costs have gradually decreased the competitiveness of the Thai garment industry, forcing implementation of industrial upgrading measures and relocation of some labour-intensive production to neighbouring countries. Conversely, Myanmar, a major source of migrant workers for Thailand, has increased its apparel exports since 2010. Using empirical evidence, this study reveals that, first, the Thai apparel industry has significantly upgraded while employing foreign workers and second, production networks between the two countries have solidified over the past decade.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics
- Political Science and International Relations