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Sri Lankan clothing exports withering down
22
Nov '10
The Sri Lanka Garment Buying Officers Association (SLGBOA) recently revealed that, since the country lost its GSP plus concession facility earlier this year, a steady fall has been witnessed in its apparel shipments to the US and EU.

As stated by Hiran Bandaranaike, Secretary SLGBOA, initially though Sri Lanka enjoyed GSP plus concession from EU, but now loss of this concession has had a dribbling effect on its apparel exporters even to US, which is the second largest importer of Sri Lankan apparels.

The psychological effect that one market lays on other is also a reason for the underlying drop in demand in the US markets. Around 94.5 percent of the Sri Lanka's overall apparel export is towards two importers, US and EU, Bandaranaike said.

Sri Lanka's apparel shipments to US during January to August 2010 registered a fall of 4.6 percent and were recorded at US $833 million, as against US$873 million during corresponding period last year, he said. Though, Srilanka positioned itself as the eighth largest supplier of apparels to the 27 EU nations, but then it was certain to lose this position with withdrawal of the GSP plus concession on August 15, this year.

It is a well accepted fact that, loss of the GSP plus concession would have many adverse impacts on the Sri Lankan apparel sector. It is apprehended that, as more and more number of European buyers feel that the country's apparels are not being able to retain their competitiveness, may thus, move to producers in other countries, he added.

Sri Lanka may continue losing a major chunk of its apparel exports to EU, which is also expected to claim thousands of jobs in the sector in the short term.

As per the estimates of the Joint Apparel Association Forum, apparels exports which constituted as the country's main industrial export, may drop by some 10 to 15 percent, this year, Bandaranaike said and added that, the Sri Lankan government needs to carry out a dialogue with the EU and strike a mutually beneficial deal, while ensuring to regain the GSP plus facility as soon as possible.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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