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$6bn in exports by 2020, making Sri Lanka one of the world's top 10 apparel exporting countries.
The sixth edition of the Footwear and Leather Fair 2014 exhibition organized by Sri Lanka Export Development Board in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Industrial Development Board and Footwear and Leather Products Manufacturers Association kicked off yesterday at the BMICH.
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is looking towards China this year aimed at finding new brands and increasing chances of promoting garment exports via a new gateway with trade concessions for its existing buyers to the East Asian partner.
But reasons for the shift in market focus would also be due to the fact that industries need to align themselves with wherever the free trade agreements (FTA) are entered into by the government, Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association Chairman Yohan Lawrnce told the Business Times.
The Chinese market is said to have grown in addition to a good demand for luxury goods due to the large spending capacity by its locals. As a result of the rising income levels this new emerging market was today becoming a brand and quality conscious market.
Apparel exports in 2013 have reached an all-time record of US$ 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.
Head of the Maldivian delegation Quasim Ibrahim addressing business entrepreneurs at the Maldives-Sri Lanka interactive business session on Tuesday said that the Maldives and Sri Lanka had been enjoying a unique friendship born of traditional ties in ethnicity, language and culture. These bonds signified historical ties that date back hundreds of years. The relationship had been served well by geographic proximity, frequent travel and brisk trade.
The session was organized by the Sri-Lanka Maldives Bilateral Business Council in association with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and was held at the Hilton.
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.
The exports of garments from the island nation of Sri Lanka to its major export destinations of the EU and the US recorded a remarkable growth of 30.7 percent year-on-year and 32.2 percent year-on-year, respectively, in September 2013, according to a press release issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
The sharp growth in Sri Lankan apparel exports to the EU and the US reflect the recovery in those economies, the statement said.
Sri Lanka’s textiles and garment sector as a whole posted a significant growth of 27.7 percent year-on-year during the month to register US$ 386.9 million, according to the Central Bank data.
From January to September 2013, Sri Lanka’s total textiles and apparel exports stood at US$ 3.126 billion, showing a rise of 5.2 percent over exports of US$ 2.972 billion made during the corresponding period of last year.
The demand for value added cinnamon products such as cinnamon leaf oil, bark oil, crushed cinnamon and ground cinnamon for confectionery and other food related industries has increased in the world. Sri Lanka is planning to double cinnamon export earnings by increasing value addition of cinnamon.
Sri Lanka is the largest supplier of cinnamon exports to the world spice market, producing about 85% of international output. However, Sri Lanka ranks well below in value added cinnamon exports to the world market. Other competitor countries make huge profits by adding value to cinnamon exported from Sri Lanka, while Sri Lanka is losing profit due to exporting more raw cinnamon.
Sri Lanka’s total export revenue is expected to reach US$ 11 billion mark by the end of this year, Export Development Board Chairman and CEO Bandula Egodage said
-“This is not an easy task, but we hope to reach the $ 11 billion export revenue mark by end of this year. As of September our total export value for 2013 is recorded at US$ 7314 million, which is a 1.07% increase in comparison to the same period in 2012. Our exports are now gradually strengthening despite the international market challenges. We have also set an export target of US$ 15 billion by 2015 and $ 20 billion by 2020. Apparel and tea exports currently account for over 40% and 20% of total exports from Sri Lanka respectively.
The notable feature of our exports during the last few years was the decline in exports, an ominous signal to the economy. The reason behind this decrease was the local and foreign market factors such as high cost of production, lack of strategic strength, non-preference by Western countries and economic crises in the occidental world.
Major products manufactured in Sri Lanka which took take the precedent role in its contribution to the export trade also shown decline trend. Under this situation, the export of fresh and marine water ornamental fish have significantly maintained export strength except 2012 and now showing nearly 20% increase of its export in 2013 up to August compare to the previous year.
I thank the Exporters' Association of Sri Lanka for inviting me to the AGM and giving me the opportunity to address this distinguished gathering of members.
The Exporters Association which represents about 80% of exporters in the country is the foremost body for exporters in Sri Lanka. We highly appreciate the contribution of Association towards the export development effort of the country.
The Government's vision as envisaged in the 'Mahinda Chintana' is to transform Sri Lanka into a strategically important economic centre of the world. This would then lead to socio economic development of the country. The export sector which contributes 17% to the GDP of the country, clearly plays an important role in achieving this objective
The Sri Lankan rubber products manufacturing industry is composed of about 4,530 manufacturing organizations of small, medium and large-scale entities.
Nearly 70-80 percent of the local rubber production is used by these domestic industries. Sabaragamuwa and Western provinces record 87 percent of the total number of rubber industries in the country.
All large and small-scale industries and 80 percent of medium-scale rubber industries can provide employment for trained personnel in rubber technology. Within a relatively short period, this industry has become a reputable major world supplier of quality rubber products.
The total rubber production (raw rubber and value-added) generated over 1.1 billion US dollars in terms of revenue and value-added rubber accounted for 80 percent of total rubber exports.
Sri Lanka's total quantity of tea exported including re-exports with imported tea for July reached to 29.88 million /kg, indicating a gain of 3.34 million/kg compared to the corresponding period in 2012.
The cumulative tea export earnings rose to Rs 17.76 billion, showing a slight gain of Rs 2.77 billion as against the same period last year with the increase in FOB (Free on Board) price per kg from Rs 564.92 to Rs.594.50, according to a tea market report.
Cumulative exports including re-exports with imported Tea for the period January to July 2013 recorded 174.25 million /kg, a decline of 7.82 million /kg in comparison to same period last year.
As the first ever textile agreement between India and Sri Lanka became a reality, both neighbours mulled joining to enter a coveted global textile foothold-China, the world’s largest textile market. “China’s textiles are gradually moving from production to consumption. Using our strengths together-Sri Lanka’s first class garment manufacturing infrastructure and India’s quality fabric outputs-let us jointly compete for China’s textile market” said a determined Ms Zohra Chaterji (Secretary of Indian Ministry of Textiles) on 09 September in Colombo.
Ms Chaterji was addressing Anura Siriwardena (Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 09 September at Cinnamon Grand during her delegation’s official meeting with Sri Lanka’s delegation after the signing the first ever MoU between India and Sri Lanka on the same day at Galadari Hotel, Colombo earlier. During the successful Cinnamon Grand meeting, officials from both sides discussed in depth, of the modalities of the morning MoU and how to move forward and implement it in the coming months and agreed on the immediate next steps.
Sri Lanka, the first ever country in Asia has been offered the “Partner Country” status at the 82nd Izmir International Fair, the oldest Trade Exhibition in Turkey. Sri Lanka’s participation promoted Sri Lanka as a reliable destination for trade investment & tourism and showcased the best that the island paradise has to offer, under the theme “Sri Lanka -Wonder of Asia”. This theme is in line with the Mahinda Chinthanaya, vision of the President of Sri Lanka who has given the leadership to initiate a grand scheme of progress and development in the country.
egombo – A radical new, locally built high-speed catamaran fishing boat is poised to significantly boost the number of top-price tuna available for export from Sri Lanka to markets in Japan, China and the Middle East.
It will also help ensure tuna sustainability in Sri Lankan waters by reducing by up 70 per cent the number of fish needed to be caught in order to ensure maximum profitability.
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development has expressed keen interest in the new vessel, which will help put the country at the forefront of next-generation fishing-boat development.