UK provides US$ 4.7 bn unutilised export potential for Lankan apparels: report

  • Apparel and textile exports to UK reached US$ 642mn last year
  • Apparel exports represent 46% of total export potential to the UK
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry could significantly boost its exports to the United Kingdom (UK) with US$ 4.7 billion unutilised export potential, according to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce’s (CCC) ‘Sri Lanka – United Kingdom Bilateral Trade and Investment’ report, launched last week in Colombo.
Sharing the key findings of the report with the business community last Friday, CCC Chief Economist Shiran Fernando revealed that Sri Lanka has US$ 4.7 billion indicative trade potential in terms of apparel exports to the UK market with a large unutilised export potential.
Sri Lanka’s apparel and textile exports to the UK reached US$ 642 million last year, accounting for 78 percent of the country’s exports to that market.
According to the report, apparel exports represent 46 percent of Sri Lanka’s total export potential to the UK.
Sri Lankan exporters also have high potential to increase vegetable products, plastic, rubber, transportation and machinery, electrical products exports to the UK.
Further, the report identified FMCGs, pharmaceutical and technology services as potential areas for more collaboration and investment between the two countries.
In the backdrop of Brexit, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama said the government is seeking a preferential trade arrangement with the UK to continue to reap the benefits of GSP Plus, leading towards an FTA in the future.  w“We know that Sri Lanka can offer ethically-manufactured, environmentally-responsible high quality products for the British market, and our preferential access needs to continue regardless of Britain’s EU membership,” he said.
The bilateral trade between the two countries, which is largely in favour of Sri Lanka, reached US$ 1.2 billion last year. The UK is also the fifth largest FDI source for Sri Lanka with FDI inflows reaching US $69.7 million last year.

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