Sri Lanka gets optimistic on apparel

  • $ 2.7 b exports so far: Rishad 
  • Says GSP+ can bring in more apparel revenues  
  • Additional $ 400 m from GSP+’: Apparel industry sources
  • 9th International Yarn & Fabric Show now on in Colombo

Sri Lanka is not hiding its optimism for its apparel industry in the post-GSP Plus era – especially with a further $ 400 m revenue from exports now in the pipeline for apparel.

“We have received GSP Plus and apparel exports are projected to increase,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday, addressing the launch event of the 9th Colombo International Yarn & Fabric Show 2017 – Fall Edition along with its concurrent exhibitions International Home Textile Sri Lanka Expo 2017 and 2nd Sri Lanka International Air Freight, Shipping & Logistics Expo 2017, at Sri Lanka Exhibition and Conventions Centre.

Also present were top Ministry officials and CEMS-Global USA and Asia Pacific Group CEO S. S. Sarwar. This business-to-business exhibition hosts exhibitors from Taiwan, China, India, Korea, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

“Business-to-business exhibitions such as this play an important role since a range of textile products enhanced with the latest technology are made available for Sri Lankan industries,” said Bathiudeen. “Global manufacturers and suppliers are making them available directly to our industry in Sri Lanka at this event which is taking place at a time when our Unity Government is making every effort to diversify our exports basket and enhance its contribution to the GDP. Promotional and networking events of our apparel industry are therefore now more important than ever since it establishes our brand identity globally.

“Last year our apparel exports totalled $ 4.8 billion and in the first six months of this year it was at $ 2.7 billion. I believe this event also brings world’s leading manufacturers of the apparel supply chain including dyes, chemicals, yarn, fabric and logistics experts to Colombo. Therefore I urge all local participants to make the most of this event.”

Sri Lankan apparel industry sources revealed on 15 September that the recently-regained GSP Plus with European Union could annually generate additional apparel export revenues of $ 400 and this could even go up to $ 500 m, thereby significantly boosting the sector’s contribution to overall export revenues.  The industry employs a workforce 400,000.

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