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.
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.
Sri Lanka’s apparel sector is likely to benefit from the new regulations issued by the Finance Ministry of the country.
The regulations cited as the Finance Act - Commercial Hub Regulation (CHR) No. 1 of 2013, will be applicable on all new established enterprises in the country.
Under the regulation, any new enterprise which is established or incorporated in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 percent of its total investment has been from foreign sources, shall be exempted from the application of Provisions of the Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235), the Exchange Control Act (Chapter 423), the Imports and Exports (Control) Act, No. 1 of 1969, and acts referred to in schedule of the Principle Act as amended by the Finance Act, No.12 of 2013.
Sri Lanka's apparel and textile sector exported a record US$4.3bn in2013 and its Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) has predictedoverseas sales will continue rising this year.
The JAAF president Noel Piyatilake told just-style the industry istargeting an ambitious target of US$6bn in exports by 2020, making SriLanka one of the world's top 10 apparel exporting countries.
Piyatilake is also hoping to gain extra leverage from planned tradeagreements. "We have made several representations to the Sri Lankangovernment to explore the option of entering into preferential treatmentagreements with several countries including China, Japan, India, Braziland Russia, which will benefit our sector immensely," he explained.
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is looking towards China this year aimed at finding new brands and increasing chances of promoting garment exports via a new gateway with trade concessions for its existing buyers to the East Asian partner.
But reasons for the shift in market focus would also be due to the fact that industries need to align themselves with wherever the free trade agreements (FTA) are entered into by the government, Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association Chairman Yohan Lawrnce told the Business Times.
The Chinese market is said to have grown in addition to a good demand for luxury goods due to the large spending capacity by its locals. As a result of the rising income levels this new emerging market was today becoming a brand and quality conscious market.
Apparel exports in 2013 have reached an all time record of US$ 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 countriesof 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.
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 has sought increased market access from India for Sri Lankan exports as a solution to balance the growing trade deficit with India.
Sri Lanka made this request during a discussion with an Indian delegation arrived in the country to discuss trade and investment.
Indian delegation led by S.R. Rao Commerce Secretary, Government of India arrived in Sri Lanka to discuss trade and investment matters with a Sri Lankan delegation led by Dr. P.B. Jayasundera Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning and Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development.
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is to get a big boost as the world’s largest textile producer, China is exploring possibilities of opening its huge domestic market to the island’s garment exports, an industry heavyweight said.
Secretary General of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) M.P. Tuly Cooray told the Business Times that their umbrella body is to enter into an agreement with the China National Garment Association to allow access for Sri Lankan apparel industrialists to penetrate the Chinese domestic market and also set up joint ventures to produce internationally branded products for overseas markets.
A high-powered, 20-member delegation from the Chinese association visited Sri Lanka recently and held preliminary discussions towards signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) enabling Chinese apparel makers and top global retailers to shift their orders to Sri Lanka due to the rising labour cost in that country, he revealed. He noted that they aim to get duty free access for apparel from