Record export income in 2011:
Apparel Industry tops US $ 4 b mark
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry has surpassed the US $ 4 billion mark
for the first time in its export earnings reaching $ 4.09 billion for
The industry tops $ 4 billion in foreign exchange for the first time
and this impressive performance has also recorded a 22 percent growth
over 2010 where the earnings were $ 3.2 billion. This shows that the
country’s apparel industry is resilient and we need to take measures to
sustain the growth, Joint Apparel Association Forum Secretary General M
P T Cooray told Daily News Business.
We have now a bigger challenge to sustain the $ 4 billion level. This
is largely due to the recession in the West. The USA and Europe are our
biggest markets. However, we do not consider this as a serious threat as
during the past we have overcome many difficulties successfully, he
The resilience of the industry has proved that we can face any
challenge and there will not be any considerable drop that will effect
We believe that the rising cost will have a negative impact in
sustaining the earnings. The policy framework to prudently manage the
rapidly fluctuating exchange rate as proposed in the 2012 budget is
timely as if not the market will dictate terms.
The apparel industry continues to aggressively penetrate new markets
and it has focused on a number of markets outside traditional markets.
Additionally the country is looking at identifying growing markets
such as India, China, Japan and Brazil and also looking at entering
Turkey and Spain.
Though these markets are available there are certain barriers to
penetrate. India has restricted our export by allowing only 3 million
pieces of unconditional quota and 5 million pieces based on Indian
fabric. Japan on the other hand has a number of bilateral agreements
which provide tax concessions to our competitors. China and Brazil has
higher tariff on a global basis this will also be a concern for Sri
“We are working hard to becoming an apparel hub and will promote
introducing legislation to set up international operations shortly to
facilitate this effort. We are hopeful that the Act will be introduced
by next month. With the target to become a $ 5 billion plus industry by
2015, Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is focusing on a continuous high
growth trajectory,” Cooray said.