At a time when some major global apparel buyers are shifting their sourcing to low-cost countries like Cambodia, Bangladesh and Vietnam, Sri Lankan garment manufacturers are not only able to retain their current buyers but have also succeeded in luring new buyers.
In fact, the Sri Lankan apparel industry has crossed its US$ 4 billion export target, which was to be achieved by 2015, by end of 2011 itself, according to Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) figures.
The high quality service levels offered by the Sri Lankan apparel manufacturing sector is among the reasons for the industry gaining strength amidst global downturn. The end of the war with the LTTE is also a reason affecting the inflow of orders from global buyers.
Mr. Channa Palansuriya, Managing Director of Orit Apparels, told fibre2fashion, “At Orit Apparels, the US is the most prominent market for exports and many other countries are also strong markets, especially the UK and Europe. Though there is recession, these countries are recovering very fast and developing business with us, which provides a good opportunity for our industry to grow.”
Citing an example, he says, “For Levis, we are catering from Mexico to the Far East i.e. up to Japan. So, things are actually turning out positive for us.”
Commenting on the challenges faced by the Sri Lankan garment industry, he says, “High manufacturing costs and shortage of labour are the key challenges we are facing at present. We are doing everything possible to control and maintain our costs.”
Looking for opportunity even during tough times, he says, “The US and EU crises have not really affected our business. On the contrary, it has provided an opportunity for us to get business from other places. We are now focusing on Russia and doing sizable business with India also.”
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India