Sri Lanka apparel exporters target new markets to reach US$8bn in 2025

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s apparel exporters are looking to break into new markets to achieve an 8 billion US dollar revenue target for 2025, but is facing domestic policy disruptions, an industry association said.

"In order to achieve the 2025 target an annual average compound growth of about 6 percent is required," the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) said in a statement.

"This is higher than the actual rate that was achieved in 2018," it said.

"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."

According to the Sri Lanka Export Development Board, apparel exports grew 4.6 percent to 4,960 million US dollars in 2018.

SLAEA Incoming Chairman Rehan Lakhani, speaking at the association’s annual general meeting, said 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," he said.

The increase in Sri Lanka Ports Authority tariffs  came into effect in January, on a decision made by the temporary government which had existed between October and December.

The central bank’s new system to monitor whether export proceeds are being repatriated is aimed at controlling the country’s current account in view of the ever depreciating rupee.

Goods released as exports from ports are not being logged in state information systems in a timely manner, delaying administrative processes.





Outgoing SLAEA Chairman Felix Fernando said with government tax relief for setting up factories in the conflict zones of the past civil war, youth in such areas are being employed in the industry.

SLAEA said it has launched a new program to eliminate negative stereotypes on women employed in the industry, to attract more employment into the labour deprived industry. (Colombo/Jan23/2019  – headline corrected)

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