Apparel industry posts $ 4 b revenue in 2011
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is exploring the posibility of entering
into preferential trade agreements with India and Japan whilst sharply
penetrating a number of non traditional markets for exports.
Local apparel industry is on a high growth trajectory and posted $ 4
billion revenue from apparel exports in 2011 despite the loss of
European GSP+ concessions. This shows the industry capability to face
any challenges and the loss of the European GSP+ has not had any serious
impact on local industry. Under the five year strategic plan formulated
by JAAF, it was targeted to reach $ 5 billion revenue from apparel
exports during 2011-2016, however, industry managed to surpass $ 4
billion mark during the last year.
workers at work
Several closed down factories in the recession period have now been
taken by major brand names in the industry and are working in full
capacity now. Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) General Secretary M
P T Cooray said.
“Nevertheless, We see stiff competition from other garment
manufacturing countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
“Sri Lanka now has a bigger challenge to sustain $ 4 billion level as
a result of global economic turmoil specially in USA and Europe and
rapidly escalating exchange rates,” he said.
Manufactures will have to implement novel strategies to increase
garments exports to existing markets as well as non traditional markets
to sustain the present growth rate.
Even though the confidence level of the industry is high, lack of
capacity has become the major impediment that hampers the growth of the
industry to a great extent and the industry needs to work in full
capacity to gain competitive advantages in the global market. Small
scale manufacturers will also have to revamp its existing business
processes whist reinvesting and manufacturing standard products since
they will not have the opportunity to depend on quotas hereafter.
Several closed down factories in the recession period have also been
acquired by global brands and are running in full capacity.
Conference and Exhibition Management Services Global Operations Group
Director S S Sarwar said that Sri Lanka apparel industry would reach its
highest level in three years time surpassing major apparel manufactures
such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The total number of garment factories in Sri Lanka is estimated to be
around 450. “Even though the Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is small in
size compared to African and Bangladesh markets , I believe that the
hassle free Colombo port will play a major role in developing the
industry,” he added.