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Apparel industry in need of increasing homemade fabric

Jun '07
The Sri Lankan apparel industry pressures the Board Of Investment (BOI) to offer incentive to textile investors.

Deputy Chairman of the Joint Apparel Association Forum, A Sukumaran, at the recent Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and BOI Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2007 said "We need to come with new strategies to attract investments in textiles. Other countries in the region are now offering better incentives. So we need to think creatively about this because we have to offer better incentives to attract investors,".

The apparel contributes revenue of around US $3 billion annually but industry also spends almost half this income, $1.2 billion, on importing fabric and another $181 million is spent on importing other necessary materials.

Between the years, 2003 and 2006, total fabric imports from all over the world increased by 9 percent. In the first quarter of this year apparel exports grew by 13.8 percent year on year.

Export Revenue from garments made from knit fabrics increased by 64 percent between 2003 and 2006 while revenue from woven fabric clothing reduced by 1 percent. On the whole, export income increased by 21 percent.

There are seven fabric manufacturing mills in the country and that is hardly enough for the growing demand.
Home made non-fabric inputs has shown better progress than the textile sector, according to Sukumaran who said; we spent US$ 194 million on importing accessories, by 2006 this had reduced to US$ 181 million despite the increase in exports.

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