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Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is exploring the posibility of entering into preferential trade agreements with India and Japan whilst sharply penetrating a number of non traditional markets for exports.

 

Local apparel industry is on a high growth trajectory and posted $ 4 billion revenue from apparel exports in 2011 despite the loss of European GSP+ concessions. This shows the industry capability to face any challenges and the loss of the European GSP+ has not had any serious impact on local industry. Under the five year strategic plan formulated by JAAF, it was targeted to reach $ 5 billion revenue from apparel exports during 2011-2016, however, industry managed to surpass $ 4 billion mark during the last year.

Several closed down factories in the recession period have now been taken by major brand names in the industry and are working in full capacity now. Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) General Secretary M P T Cooray said.



“Nevertheless, We see stiff competition from other garment manufacturing countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

“Sri Lanka now has a bigger challenge to sustain $ 4 billion level as a result of global economic turmoil specially in USA and Europe and rapidly escalating exchange rates,” he said.

Manufactures will have to implement novel strategies to increase garments exports to existing markets as well as non traditional markets to sustain the present growth rate.

Even though the confidence level of the industry is high, lack of capacity has become the major impediment that hampers the growth of the industry to a great extent and the industry needs to work in full capacity to gain competitive advantages in the global market. Small scale manufacturers will also have to revamp its existing business processes whist reinvesting and manufacturing standard products since they will not have the opportunity to depend on quotas hereafter.

Several closed down factories in the recession period have also been acquired by global brands and are running in full capacity.

Conference and Exhibition Management Services Global Operations Group Director S S Sarwar said that Sri Lanka apparel industry would reach its highest level in three years time surpassing major apparel manufactures such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The total number of garment factories in Sri Lanka is estimated to be around 450. “Even though the Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is small in size compared to African and Bangladesh markets , I believe that the hassle free Colombo port will play a major role in developing the industry,” he added. 

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JAAF 

Sri Lanka Garments

SLAEA Magazine Front Cover 2Journal & Directory of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association, containing valuable information with regard to the apparel industry.
Issue No. 90

 

Contact :
Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association,
50/1,Rosmead Place, Colombo 7
Tel: +9411 2675050, 2674528 
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