COVID-19 Update
Impacts on the Garment Supply Chain
Country Updates

In this section, we provide you with an overview of current developments in the main production countries of our members.

Using the real-time map of Johns Hopkins University, you will find an overview of the current numbers of corona cases per country.

The Fair Wear Foundation provides an overview of relief funds of independent organisations for different countries.

Ethiopia
Current situation

Lockdown: On 8th of April a state of emergency was declared for 5 months. Larger events are forbidden and schools and restaurants are closed.

Production: About half of the companies in the Hawassa Industrial Park, which employs 35,000 people, have now stopped production. (Link)

Government measures: The employers' confederation, labor unions, and the government agreed on a tripartite protocol to prevent layoffs during the crisis. (Link) Government subsidies have enabled manufacturing exporters to benefit from zero-cost rail transport and lower export logistics costs. In addition, the governement's new industrial-parks strategy envisages the establishment of manufacturing hubs to produce PPE for domestic and overseas markets. (Link)

Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles can finde more country-specific information on the Members' Platform.

Bangladesh
Current situation

Lockdown: Since 31 May the government has been lifting the nationwide lockdown on a limited scale in order to resume the country's economic activities. Trade centres, markets, offices and public transport are now to be reopened. (Link)

Production: On 4 May authorities announced that more factories will gradually be opened. (Link) However, garment factories will be closed once a significant number of workers are infected with COVID-19. (Link) Several BGMEA audit teams examine the health and safety systems of factories through unannounced factory visits. (Link) According to BGMEA, most factories are currently working at 55 percent capacity whereas over 400 factories have already shut down due to new order cancellations. (Link)

Government measures: The government announced a bailout/simulus package of 500 million Euro for export-oriented industries to pay for wages. On 15 April the Prime Minister announced the allocation of Tk. 7.6 billion (around 83 million euro) for people who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. The Ministry of Finance will also subsidise interest payments on up to Tk. 500 billion (about 5.4 billion euros) in working capital loans. (Link) According to the Ministry of Labor, companies that do not pay their workers will not receive any money from the announced rescue package for the export sector. (Link) The government's COVID-19 health guideline recommends that employers should provide paid sick leave or special leave for employees with coronavirus symptoms. (Link)

Other developments: Various civil society actors have set up donation funds to support workers. (Link). Among them is the relief funds for workers in India and Bangladesh organised by the Textiles Partnership member FEMNET e.V. The European Union is providing 93 million euros to support the estimated one million garment workers in Bangladesh. It is part of the €334 million "Team Europe" aid package to fight the pandemic in Bangladesh. (Link)

Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles can finde more country-specific information on the Members' Platform.

Further information

Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)

Better Work: Brief overview of the situation and political decisions regarding factories (Link)

Bulgaria
Current situation

Lockdown: Bulgaria has started to ease restrictions. The national state of emergency that had been in force since 13 March has been lifted on 13 May. (Link)

Production:Production continues in large parts and under healthand safety precautions. 

Government measures: The government is allocating BGN 5.5 billion (around 2.4 billion euros) to support businesses. This includes for example covering 60% of the wages of workers in affected sectors who would otherwise have been made redundant, inlcudig social security contributions as well as deferral of corporate tax payments until 30 June. (Link)

China
Current situation

Lockdown: The lockdown officially ended on 8 April. However, precautionary measures are still being taken. In Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang the lockdown has been reimposed on 19th May due to new infections. Due to a new outbreak in China's capital Peking, the city has been placed under lockdown on 15th June. (Link, Link)

Production: For some weeks now, factories in China have been gradually returning to operation. (Link)

Government measures: The government has adopted a number of measures to support companies. On the one hand, rents, taxes and social security contributions can be reduced or deferred. On the other hand, companies can apply for loans at reduced interest rates. (Link)

India
Current situation

Lockdown: India has announced plans to further relax national lockdown regulations. In the first stage of a three-phase plan, shopping centres, places of worship, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services will be opened from 8 June. However, these measures do not apply to designated 'containment zones', where there is a higher risk of transmission. (Link)

Production: Since the easing of the lockdown, factories are slowly resuming production, but with limited capacity. Some factories are currently producing community masks and PSA to help contain the virus and to stay afloat. (Link) The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) survey found that at the end of May only 22% of garment factories had restarted operations, 40% of which are engaged in the manufacture of currently essential products such as masks and PPE products, and that the factories are now operating at an average of 25% of their capacity. (Link) After being stranded in the industrial cities during the lockdown and having to travel home under bad conditions, many migrant workers refuse to return. Clothing factory owners say that one of the biggest problems is the lack of workforce. (Link)

Government measures: The government has unveiled a USD 23 billion economic stimulus which would provide around 800 million people with basic food over the next three months. However, this will likely not reach many migrant workers who are far from their registered addresses. (Link) In addition, the government is working on a proposal to provide a social security net to unorganised sector workers (such as contract labourers). (Link) On 14 May the distribution of free food for migrants was announced. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that 463 million USD worth of grain shipments would benefit 80 million migrants. (Link) Given the plight of migrant workers during the Covid 19 pandemic, the Parliament's Standing Committee on Employment is working to ensure that they are covered by social security with legal protection. (Link)

Other developments: Various civil society actors have set up donation funds to support workers. (Link). Among them is the relief funds for workers in India and Bangladesh organised by the Textiles Partnership member FEMNET e.V.

Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles can finde more country-specific information on the Members' Platform.

Further information

Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)

Indonesia
Current situation

Lockdown: The Indonesian government is preparing a “New Normal” scenario. The government is planning a five-phase return to post Covid-19 normalcy, starting with the freeing up of transport services on June 1 and the opening up of all economic activities by the end of July. (Link)

Production: Production currently suspended or greatly reduced. Many workers have been sent home. (Link) Indonesian textile companies start production of medical masks and protective suits. (Link)

Government measures: USD 8.1 billion were made available to support the economy through tax incentives. A further stimulus package of USD 1.4 billion is intended to enable, among other things, tax suspensions and the easing of credit payments. ( (Link)

Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles can finde more country-specific information on the Members' Platform.

Cambodia
Current situation

Lockdown: There is currently no nationwide lockdown. In Phnom Penh, schools were closed and social distancing measures are in place.

Production: According to the Cambodian PM, 256 garment and footwear factories have suspended their operations due to COVID-19. More than 130. 000 workers have been affected by these suspensions. (Link)

Government measures: Dismissed garment workers receive 70 USD per month - 40 USD from the government and 30 USD from employers. This amounts for approx. a third of the minimum wage. (Link) On 25th february the government further announced tax exemptions for factories severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the EBA suspension (Link) In addition, workers in the manufacturing industry do not have to pay income tax for six months. (Link)

Other developments: The Japanese government will support Cambodia with an emergency assistance ranging from medical supplies to technical assistance worth more than $6,3 million through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in June 2020. (Link) On 11th June, the EU also published a press statement stating that it would assist Cambodia with around $504 million in grants and loans in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and thus further support them in reducing the socio-economic repercussions. (Link)

Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles can finde more country-specific information on the Members' Platform.

Further information

Better Work: Brief overview of the situation and political decisions regarding factories (Link)

Myanmar
Current situation

Lockdown: Schools are still closed, however, they are being prepared for reopening in July. Large gatherings and international flights are still prohibited. (Link) In several regions including Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw wearing face masks in public has been imposed by the government. (Link, Link)

Production: Myanmar factories can reopen after passing inspections by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, the Ministry of Health and Sports and other relevant groups. (Link)

Government measures: The government has established a COVID-19 fund of USD 70 million in order to inter alia support the textile and garment industry. Moreover, it was decided to extend the income and trade tax payment deadline and to exempt the 2 percent advance income tax on exports until the end of the fiscal year. (Link)

Other developments: The EU will provide five million Euro as an relief funds to support workers in the garment sector. The fund is part of a bigger contribution (USD 25 million) by the the Livelihood and Security Fund (LIFT), the EU, the US as well as Australia.

Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles can finde more country-specific information on the Members' Platform.

Further information

Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)

North Macedonia
Current situation

Lockdown: North Macedonia adopted a three-phase plan to ease the coronavirus lockdown. The first phase will involve the reopening of businesses during the state of emergency and the gradual easing of the citizens' movement nationwide. The second phase will allow some workplaces to reopen under recommended measures and strict work protocols in terms of prevention of COVID-19 spread. During the third phase, all workplaces will be allowed to reopen with respect to the basic preventive and anti-pandemic measures for maintaining personal hygiene and physical distance. (Link)

Production: Apart from cancelled orders, factories that continue their regular production face labour shortages, resulting in delayed delivery of orders.

Pakistan
Current situation

Lockdown: Despite the rapidly increasing coronavirus cases, the Pakistani Prime Minister announced in early June that no new lockdown would be imposed. (Link)

Production: Parts of the textile industry were able to resume production even before the end of the lockdown. In Punjab and Sindh, the two worst-affected provinces, the reopening of the garment industry has now been approved. (Link)

Government measures: The government approved Rs 3000 (about 17 euro) each for seven million daily wagers as well as Rs 200 billion (about 1.2 billion euros) for exporters. (Link)

Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles can finde more country-specific information on the Members' Platform.

Portugal
Current situation

Lockdown: The "state of emergency" was ended on 3 May by Prime Minister António Costa. A gradual easing of the lockdown measures will now follow. (Link)

Production: Textile and garment factories are currently operating at reduced capacity and under strict safety precautions. Some factories have temporarily closed due to the high risk of infection. Employees continue to receive their wages, however it its unclear how long this can be guaranteed. (Link)

Government measures: The government announces a 9.2 billion euro package to support workers and provide liquidity to companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. (Link)

Further information

Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)

Romania
Current situation

Lockdown: Since 15 May, the state of emergency that had been in force since 23 March was replaced by the less restrictive state of alert. The restrictions will be gradually relaxed every two weeks according to the epidemiological development (Link)

Production: Factories are still open.

Government measures: In a first package of measures, the Romanian government has decided, among other things, that employers will receive state support to pay their employees. Employees receive a compensation of 75 per cent of their basic salary.

Tunisia
Current situation

Lockdown:  Tunisia has started with partially lifting the lockdown measures. (Link)

Production: The industry may restart its production with half of the employees if the transport is guaranteed by the company. (Link) 

Government measures: The government announced an USD 850 billion bailout/simulus package to limit the social and economic impact. 450 million dollars are to go to particularly low-income families who have lost their jobs due to the crisis. In addition, the government announced to pay a contribution of USD 70 per employee to the 1,5 million workers in the private sector, with the rest of the salary being paid by employers. (Link) Moreover, the Ministry of Finance also established the Solidarity Fund 1818 , to which some companies have already made donations.

Other developments: Tunisia also receives financial support from external parties. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to a loan of USD 745 million to be distributed to North African countries; the EU is supporting Tunisia with 250 million euros; Italy with 50 million euros. (Link)

Turkey
Current situation

Lockdown: Turkey reopened most of its public places on 1st June 2020. Restaurants, cafés, gyms, swimming pools, beaches, parks, libraries and museums are open again all over the country. (Link)

Production: Textile and garment factories are allowed to continue operating. Due to the cancellations, some factories had to close temporarily. (Link) The capacity utilisation rate of the textile industry decreased from 84.9% in February to 47.1% in April. (Source: Webinar FLA)

Government measures: President Erdogan announced a USD 15.4 billion aid package to limit the economic impact. It includes delays in loan repayments and tax cuts in various sectors, including the textile sector. (Link)

Further information

Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)

Vietnam
Current situation

Lockdown: Vietnam has started to ease its strict social distancing rules. (Link)

Production: Factories are allowed to resume their operations if they adhere to strict health measures.

Government measures: The government has planned various incentives to counter the COVID-19 impact (tax breaks, delayed tax payments and delayed land-use fees for businesses). (Link) Moreover, the National Assembly Standing Committee adopted a cash transfer package worth VND 36 trillion (about 1,4 billion euro) (0.5% of GDP) from the state budget, which support poor households, recipients of social protection program as well as workers who temporarily stopped working or have been on unpaid leave. (Link)

Further information

Fair Labor Association: Brief overview of current development in sourcing countries (Link)

Better Work: Brief overview of the situation and political decisions regarding factories (Link)

Further Country Information

Further information on developments in the producing countries can be found here:

In addition, the GIZ regional project FABRIC is currently organizing the webinar series “Getting through the crisis together” which focuses on the different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemics impacts on the textile and garment industry.

In ten webinars of 60-90 minutes each, industry experts from different parts of the supply chain will discuss opportunities and challenges on the way through the crisis and exchange lessons learned across the region. The format aims at bringing together various industry stakeholders including Asian producers/suppliers, producer associations, brand representatives, civil society actors and international organisations, to analyse the situation on the ground and to identify synergies as well as opportunities for coorperation.   

Contact person: Alexandra Behns (GIZ)

1st session “The Impact of the Crisis on Producers and Workers: Voices from Asia” (29 April, 10am CET): This Webinar focused on the general impact of the pandemic on the textile and clothing industry, in particular in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan and China. Three representatives shared their experiences from the perspective of workers, producers and regional associations. Use the password "Webinar1" for the recording of the webinar .

2nd session "The Impact of the Crisis: The Brands' Perspective" (12 May, 10am CET): The second webinar will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from the brands' perspective. Besides Maren Barthel, Director at the sustainability solutions provider ELEVATE, speakers include Mathias Diestelmann, Chief Executive Officer at the Partnership’s member company Brands Fashion as well as Dr. Jürgen Janssen, the Partnership’s Manager. Find the recording of the webinar.

3rd Session “How can factories bounce back from COVID-19?“ (2 June, 1pm CET): The third webinar will examine business resilience amidst the crisis, and what it takes for manufacturers, small and large, to survive now and thrive in the future. Dr. Raymond Robertson (Direktor, Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy, Texas A&M University), Nicole Chu (Direktorin Corporate Compliance, Sabrina Fashion Industrial Corporation) und Kim van der Weerd (Writer, Podcaster & former garment factory general manager) will share insights on what makes factories more resilient, speak about what measures they have taken to respond to COVID-19, and discuss possible steps to address the impacts the industry now faces, including partnerships, production, management systems, financing, and how to reopen factories while prioritizing worker safety. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.

4th session "Sustainability: How to stay on course during COVID-19?" (Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 1pm CET): The fourth FABRIC webinar is being held in cooperation with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), which will present the results of a survey of member companies on COVID-19. Afterwards, Eranthi Premaratne (Director Facilities, SAC), Matthew Guenter (Senior Environmental Sustainability Manager, TAL Apparel Limited) and Vijay N. Suvarna (Sustainability & Compliance, Asiatan/TecTuff) will discuss the implications for facilities, especially on ensuring worker safety. Finally, we will debate how facilities and other industry stakeholders can stay committed to sustainability during times of crisis and what it means for tools such as the Higg Index by SAC and the way it is implemented across the industry. Watch the recording of the webinar

5th session “COVID-19 and Beyond: Making Gender Equality a Reality” (Tuesday, June 30 from 1-2.30pm CET): The fifth webinar will look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers in the textile and garment sector in Asia from a gender perspective. Nazma Akter (Awaj Foundation), Scott Deitz (Convene Communication Strategies) und Elly Rosita Silaban (KSBSI) will share insights from Bangladesh and Indonesia, and discuss strategies to ensure gender is at the forefront of the COVID-19 recovery. They will also talk about the social and economic benefits of gender inclusive business operations in the textile and garment industry. recording of the webinar