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US-PRC trade row a plus for Sri Lankan apparel exporters

Aug '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The trade conflict between the United States and China could assist countries like Sri Lanka to raise exports, according to Teejay Lanka chairman Wing Tak Bill Lam, who recently told shareholders that exports of textiles and garments are likely to experience a decline in the near term, especially to key export destinations of Europe and the United States.

According to the Sri Lankan Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA), a trend of order cancellations has already hit factories and the revenue loss is expected to be significant during the second quarter of the current fiscal.

Apparel exports during the first six months of this year declined by 30 per cent to $1.8 billion from $2.6 billion a year ago. Apparel exports to the European Union during the first six months of this year declined 32 per cent to $753 million from $1.1 billion recorded a year earlier, while exports to the United States during the same period declined by 27 per cent to $830.5 million from $1.14 billion.

However, with the COVID-19 global pandemic many companies are now frightened to rely on single destinations for its supply chain. These companies, according to Bill Lam, are now moving away from China to partner with other South Asian countries, which Sri Lankan apparel manufactures can easily tap into, according to Sri Lankan media reports.

According to statistics released by the Apparel Exporters Association, apparel exports in June this year reached $382 million, down by 20.5 per cent from $481 million recorded during the corresponding month of last year.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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September 2020

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