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Sri Lankan apparel exporters seek to broaden markets
Dec '16
A Sri Lankan garment exporter’s trade body wants its government to sign more free trade agreements (FTA’s) with various countries, particularly Brazil, Japan, Russia, South Korea and South Africa. The Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) is of the opinion that these FTA’s will help the industry expand its base as well as earn more foreign exchange.

Speaking at the annual general meeting (AGM) of SLAEA, its chairman Felix Fernando said, “The apparel sector has committed to the government that the industry will increase exports to the EU by $500 million per year, once the GSP+ is restored.”

“While the industry will benefit from GSP+ for the next four to five years and used to achieve various medium and long term goals, it will also boost clothing exports to other countries from Sri Lanka,” he added.

He also suggested increasing the production of higher value-added products, considering the sector’s inability to compete with other South Asian countries on low-end value products.

“While a few major apparel exporters are investing in automation, the industry largely lacks automation, which will become more critical in the future, when also taking in to factor the labour shortage,” he observed. (AR)

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November 2019

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