Increasing batik, handlooms, local garment production top priority for Sri Lanka: President

FILE PHOTO – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

ECONOMYNEXT – Increasing the production of batik, handlooms and local garments is a top priority for Sri Lanka’s newly elected government, with a view to stabilising the industry in five years, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.

State-owned textile trading institutions such as Lanka Salu Sala could facilitate market expansion for the industry, the President said at a discussion held yesterday on the expansion of state miniseries.

“The public should remain the main stakeholders in the government’s vision of a people-centric economy,” a statement from the President’s Office quoted him as saying.

The president’s remarks come in the wake of cabinet and state ministry appointments held in Kandy last week, with some commentators including opposition politicians expressing confusion over the unusual specificity of some portfolios.

The president named the garment industry as pioneers in employment generation and regional development, noting that exports from the garment industry account to 43% of total exports,  accumulating an annual income of nearly USD 5 billion to the country.

He stressed that it is of utmost importance to further the local economy while the rest of the world recovers from a global pandemic.

The discussion was attended by Minister of Industries Wimal Weerawansa, State Minister for Batik, Handlooms and Local Garments Dayasiri Jayasekara, Secretary to the President, P B Jayasundera, Secretary to the Treasury S R Attygalle and several entrepreneurs related to batik, handlooms and local garments. (Colombo/Aug19/2020)

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