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Garment exports aims at $5 bn by expanding markets
Sep '10
Garment sector, which is the biggest export industry of Sri Lanka, has set a target to generate US $5 billion business by the year 2015, even though it witnessed losses due to the withdrawal of GSP Plus duty free facility to the EU, which is the country's biggest export market.

As per the former Secretary General of the Joint Apparel Association (JAAF), Mr. M.P. Tuly Cooray, who was addressing a seminar titled “GSP+, Clothing Industry in Perspective”, improving competitiveness will help the industry to achieve this target. The seminar was organized by the Brandix College of Clothing Technology.

The value addition of the garment industry has grown from 30-35 percent to 60-65 percent. Before the suspension of GSP Plus Scheme, garment exports to the EU increased up to $1.6 billion last year from $1,025 million in 2005.

In order to alleviate GSP Plus concession loss, entry into free trade agreements (FTAs) could prove helpful, he added. India has FTAs with the EU and Singapore, Japan has it with Vietnam and also an Economic Cooperation Agreement with Indonesia, under which garments worth around $3-4 billion were exported to Japan.

Japanese clothing market alone accounts for around $24 billion. The loss of GSP Plus concession would be counterbalanced, if the country can export $300 million worth of products or one tenth of the Indonesian exports to Japan, stated Mr. Weerasinghe.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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