Apparel industry could secure over US$ 1 bn orders | Daily News


Production of Health and safety equipment

Apparel industry could secure over US$ 1 bn orders

Sanjaya Mohottala
Sanjaya Mohottala

Lanka’s main markets, Japan Europe and America were gradually opening up and over 30 local garment factories have been given permission to manufacture Health and safety equipment with secured orders for over US$ 500 million, Director General of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Sanjaya Mohottala told a TV talk show in Colombo on Wednesday.

Mohottala said these orders could go up to US$ 1 billion and if that happens the garment industry could take a buffer from the otherwise collapsing situation. Lanka exports goods to the tune of US$ 12 billion from which garments contribute to US$ 5.7 billion which are manufactured in 300 garment factories with almost 300,000 employed in those.

He said although curfew was imposed amid many challenges garments factories under the BOI situated in IPZs continued to function with a skeleton staff to meet critical orders placed particularly for personal protective equipment (PPT).

Mohottala said that there was however a 40 percent decline in exports in March and they envisage an even further decline in April although it was too early to yet to give an exact figure.

He however said that all measures would be taken to revive the situation with Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters’ Association and contain the decline to about 20 percent. Chitranjali Dissanayake, Acting Additional Director General Export Development Board (EDB) said garments contribute to over 48% of Lanka’s export earnings.

However at the time of the lookdown the challenge was to deliver the orders received prior to that. But the EDB with the assistance of the BOI and Presidential Task Force managed to deliver those orders. She said although there wasn’t any significant impact to export figures in January and February 2020, since March there was a substantial decline.

The major problem the garment industry faced was getting down fabrics form China.

She said however with a collaborative effort they managed to overcome these difficulties and deliver the orders which were a significant achievement.

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