Sri Lanka’s apparel sector has embarked on a journey to achieve US $ 8 billion in exports by 2025, as the government is providing assistance to enhance access to emerging markets with more free trade pacts and consistent policies.
At the recently held Annual General Meeting of Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association, Rehan Lakhani, Chairman of the association stated that Government policy is supportive of the apparel industry. He told, “We will continue to impress upon the government the need to continue the trade policy agenda that was launched, because we are relying on a global platform.”
On the domestic front the Sri Lanka’s apparel industry has faced challenges to overcome several serious issues including SLPA tariff increase, new shipping policy draft, new procedure for monitoring export proceeds and the non- issuance of export releases.
Outgoing Chairman of AEASL Felix A. Fernando mentioned that the apparel industry’s ambitious goal has been achieved. We recorded US $ 5.32 billion last year. The industry is focused on growth and its goal of achieving US $ 8 billion in export revenue.
This is primarily due to the visible development of the rural areas which has helped uplift the lives of the rural public in particular. The government has also taken several initiatives by providing incentives to the public. Moreover many factories have also been opened in the North and the East providing opportunities to the youth in conflict areas.
Fernando explained,“Today the apparel and textile industry is the thrust of development and records steady growth and the apparel sector recorded 5.7 percent growth while the textile industry recorded 1.6 percent growth.”
Apparel Sector will be worth US $ 2.6 billion by 2023. Retail growth will be led by China and India, shared Fernando. He added that “The combined retail global consumption will increase while the markets have shown a growth of 15 and 11 percent. Sri Lanka’s apparel industry however runs at 15 percent below capacity.”