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Sri Lanka apparel sector aims to reach US$8 bn by 2025

Sri Lanka’s apparel sector surpassed $5 billion in export earnings in 2018 and targets $8 billion by 2025, the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) said in a statement.

Sri Lanka apparel export $8 b
Figure: Sri Lanka apparel exporters target new markets to reach US$8bn by 2025.

Sri Lanka’s apparel export industry, one of the most significant contributors to the economy, has recorded substantial growth levels over the past four decades and is currently the country’s leading exporter.

Sri Lanka has built its competitive edge on value-addition rather than cheap production cost, with greater emphasis on product quality and its ability to manufacture niche products.  In spite of increased international competition, exporters seem to be faring quite well.

On the domestic front, we are faced with the challenge of overcoming a number of serious issues, namely the Sri Lanka ports authority tariff increase.

Rehan Lakhani, Chairman, Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association

The Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) said in a statement, “In order to achieve the 2025 target an annual average compound growth of about 6% is required. As the traditional market is more or less static, the Sri Lankan apparel industry needs to penetrate into emerging markets such as India, China, and Brazil.”

SLAEA Incoming Chairman Rehan Lakhani, speaking at the association’s annual general meeting, informed that, the government has to continue the trade policies it had begun to support the industry.

“On the domestic front, we are faced with the challenge of overcoming a number of serious issues, namely the Sri Lanka ports authority tariff increase, new shipping policy draft, new procedure for monitoring of export proceeds, and the non-issuance of export releases,” Rehan said.

According to the statement, the increase in Sri Lanka ports authority tariffs came into effect in January 2019, on a decision made by the temporary government which had existed between October and December last year.

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