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Sri Lanka apparel industry eyes value adding hub position

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is looking at becoming the hub for South Asia, buying semi-finished garments from other countries in the region and doing value addition with the aim of increasing export earnings, an official said.

South Asia will be one of the main global apparel sourcing regions in the next 15-20 years, said Hasitha Premaratne, Director of Brandix Ltd., a top apparel exporter.

The region is one of the largest cotton producers and has a large textile manufacturing base, especially in India, he told an innovation forum held by the Organisation of Professional Associations with the United Nations development Program.

“Sri Lanka has more technical capability and design capabilities which can take this region to the next level,” Premaratne said.

Bangladesh has plenty of cheap labour.

“So Sri Lanka can play the role of a hub for South Asia – India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh Pakistan and also Myanmar,” he said.

“We can look at buying semi-finished garments from others and do value addition here. Then we can be a 20 billion US dollar industry,” Premaratne said.

“We have cotton, an ample labour pool which gives scale-ability and we can look at cost advantage.” (Colombo/September 23 2015)

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