Sri Lanka could export US$4.7 billion in apparel to UK
Jul 24, 2019 11:42 AM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT- The UK market will continues to have high potential for Sri Lankans apparel exports in the future, an official from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said.
“Sri Lanka has a potential of 4.7 billion US dollars export market in UK," Chief Economist Shiran Fernando said, quoting from a newly launched report on trade between Sri Lanka and Britain.
The ‘Sri Lanka-UK Bilateral Trade and Investment Report’ published by the Board of Investment and Council for Business with Britain (CBB) said that the apparel exports potential is 46 percent of Sri Lanka's total exports potential to the UK.
Apparel was Sri Lanka's largest export to the UK in 2018, making up 75 percent of total exports to the European nation.
Sri Lankan Apparel exports to the UK reached 903 million US dollars in 2014 but reduced to 815 million US dollars in 2015 and continued to fall reaching 737 million US million dollars in 2018.
However, after a similar peak in 2014 and a fall in 2015, apparel exports to the wider European Union had continued to grow, showing that Sri Lankan manufacturers were making gains into other European markets.
Meanwhile, the report also said that exporters in other industries such as vegetable, plastic, rubber and machinery industries have a high potential in the UK market.
Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama said that the government is seeking a preferential trade agreement with the UK, in order to continue getting preferential trade access to Sri Lanka's second largest export destination.
Sri Lanka currently benefits from preferential access to the UK market due to the European Union's GSP Plus program. However, with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, Sri Lanka may lose preferential access to the UK.
“Sri Lanka can offer high quality products for the UK market and coming to a free trade agreement will benefit people in both countries” Samarawickrama said. (Colombo/Jul24/2019)