As bilateral trade with China crossed $ 3 Bn, one of the biggest ever trade and business delegations from Sri Lanka is flying to grace the 22nd Kunming international Fair in China which kicks off tomorrow June 06.
“Sri Lanka has been taking part in this event when it was held for the first time in Beijing in 2007. With one of the biggest EDB supported delegations, we are hopeful of good results this year as well” said an upbeat Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce) on the eve of 04 June.
The exports of textiles and garments from the island nation of Sri Lanka surged by 23.4 percent year-on-year in the first month of 2014, according to a press release on ‘External Sector Performance – January 2014’ issued by the Economics Research Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
Textiles and garments, which is the main contributor to the growth in industrial exports from Sri Lanka, grew by 23.4 percent to US$ 412 million in January 2014, compared to exports of $333.9 million made during the same month last year.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Major General Qasim Qureshi made an open invitation to Sri Lankan exporters to utilize the current Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP) scheme Pakistan enjoys with the European Union (EU) and expand trade between the two countries through the existing free trade agreement (FTA).
“Pakistan’s new GSP plus scheme with the EU is an opportunity for Sri Lankan exporters. For that we should jointly explore whatever is possible within the rules and regulations of the trade concession,” Qureshi said during a discussion held at the National Chamber of Commerce, recently.
Sri Lanka's apparel and textile sector exported a record US$4.3bn in2013 and its Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) has predicted overseas sales will continue rising this year.
The JAAF president Noel Piyatilake told just-style the industry is targeting an ambitious target of US$6bn in exports by 2020, making Sri Lanka one of the world's top 10 apparel exporting countries.
The sixth edition of the Footwear and Leather Fair 2014 exhibition organized by Sri Lanka Export Development Board in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Industrial Development Board and Footwear and Leather Products Manufacturers Association kicked off yesterday at the BMICH.
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is looking towards China this year aimed at finding new brands and increasing chances of promoting garment exports via a new gateway with trade concessions for its existing buyers to the East Asian partner.
But reasons for the shift in market focus would also be due to the fact that industries need to align themselves with wherever the free trade agreements (FTA) are entered into by the government, Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association Chairman Yohan Lawrnce told the Business Times.
The Chinese market is said to have grown in addition to a good demand for luxury goods due to the large spending capacity by its locals. As a result of the rising income levels this new emerging market was today becoming a brand and quality conscious market.
Sri Lanka will continue to receive the benefit of the European Union (EU) GSP facility for another 10 years beginning from January this year, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen said yesterday.
He said the EU has been Sri Lanka’s largest trade partner next to the United States and the bilateral trade volume exceeds US $ 5 billion a year.
“Total trade between Sri Lanka and EU which was at US $ 3 billion in 2004 rose to US $ 4,946.18 million in 2012. Apparel, diamonds, tea and rubber products became the major export items,” he said.
Apparel exports in 2013 have reached an all-time record of US$ 4.3 billion compared with US$ 3.8 billion in 2012, said Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) acting Chairman Noel Priyatilleke.
Speaking at the JAFF 10th Annual General Meeting he said that nevertheless, the challenge ahead of us is not only to sustain this business but also to grow because the Government expects Sri Lankan apparel, tea and rubber to fetch a turnover of US$ 10 billion by 2016 and Sri Lankan apparel has also to be among the first ten apparel exporter countries of the world by 2020.
The time has come for us to explore all possible avenues to reach this target and I do believe that Sri Lankan apparel can achieve it, because of the visionary leadership given by the stalwarts of our industry coupled with the business-friendly environment created by our Government. Let us get together to perform this task.
Sri Lanka produces more than 800,000 metric tons of fresh fruit and vegetables annually while around 90 per cent of her processed food is being exported to the European Union market.
In addition, Sri Lanka is utilizing improved techniques in crop cultivation, especially under poly tunnels. Optimum input application, pest and disease control, post-harvest management and quality packaging are other features of our food production sector, Export Development Board Directoress Jeevani Siriwardena said.She was addressing joint talks between Maldives and Sri Lankan business delegations earlier this week.
Sri Lanka has garnered more than $4.6 Mn orders at the recently concluded Kunming Int’l Fair in China-and this too is only from the initial overview of Kunming outcomes rather than any in-depth totals. “I am pleased of the performance of the delegation of 119 companies and businesses that I led to Kunming. I commend EDB for this successful facilitation effort” said a satisfied Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 31 July in Colombo.