Sri Lanka’s apparel sector is looking to dress more Brazilians as the first ever industry delegation kicks off a promotional tour today to tap potential in the giant South American market.
In an effort to expand the buyer base for Lankan apparels, the Export Development Board (EDB) and the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) together with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Brazil has organised the six day promotional program from 22 to 27 September.
The forthcoming Lanka-China FTA has electrified no less than a $8B global apparel giant who is also the world’s largest shirt maker. “We are very excited about the forthcoming Lanka-China FTA; having duty free market access to China is very important for us as an apparel sourcing firm and the benefits are great.
This is even more important for us since we have considerable income from Asia-30% of our turnover from Calvin Klein brand alone originates from Asia!” said Mark Green, the Executive Vice President of Global Supply Chain of New York’s PVH Corporation on 14 August in Colombo.
The Sri Lankan apparel trade today is well renowned around the world to be the most cutting-edge and innovative when it comes to apparel manufacturing.
With a very long history of manufacturing in the island and throughout the challenges which this industry has faced to this day, the garment manufacturing stands much stronger than it has been ever before where the exports from this industry within a year increased by 11 percent (which was the biggest increase annually in 2013 compared with initial years) and by end November 2013 the exports earnings from this industry in Sri Lanka stood at US $2.876 billion, which is a substantial amount of foreign exchange bought into the country by a single industry.
Sri Lanka's first quarter exports registered a positive growth of 16%, while monthly exports for March jumped by as much as 27%.
"This is encouraging for our efforts towards $ 20 bn export goal by 2020 as envisioned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa," said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on May 9 in Colombo.
Accordingly, this year's first quarter provisional exports totalled $ 2.80 bn while the comparative 2013 first quarter total exports stood at $ 2.36 bn, showing a 15.7% Q-on-Q growth.
As Lanka's exports to Japan topped $ 223 Mn mark, Sri Lanka is mulling a strategic, fast-track entry to one of the most coveted online markets in the world-Japan. "Japan is the second biggest retail market in the world. Japanese are also heavy internet users with a large e-commerce base. Using a top Japanese online giant like Rakuten could give Lankan exporters a wide-coverage and a low cost entry to this promising market" said Sujatha Weerakoone (DG-EDB) on 02 May at EDB premises.
DG Weerakoone was addressing the EDB organized event "Japan's Rakuten Platform for Sri Lankan Products" held for Lankan exporters on 02 May at EDB. The session consisted of a special in-depth presentation by Japan's Kanagawa based Takashi Yoshino (Principal, Y and F Associates LLC) who, in a his presentation, shoed in-depth of the pros and cons, and how to create an online strategy for Lankan exporters to Japan. Eager representatives from more than 40 Lankan export firms were present at the session.
Sri Lanka’s earnings from exports of textiles and garments grew by 6.6 percent to US$ 396.2 million in February 2014, compared to earnings of $371.6 million recorded in same month last year, according to a press release on ‘External Sector Performance – February 2014’ issued by the Economics Research Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
The statement reflected two key trends in Sri Lanka’s textile and garment trade—an increase in apparel exports to non-traditional markets and a higher local value addition in the clothing industry.
In the aftermath of latest record apparel earnings, Sri Lanka is now entertaining bigger apparel dreams. “Our internationally recognised apparel sector has shown strong performance, and has earned revenues of $ 4.3 billion in 2013. President Mahinda Rajapaksa now wants us to be among the world’s top 10 apparel export countries by 2020,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 21 March.
Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the inauguration event of the newly established Leather & Footwear Industry Training Unit and the upgraded Engineering Workshop with mechatronics at the Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel (SLITA) on 21 March in Ratmalana.
The top textile companies from Taiwan will be showcasing their cutting edge, unique and high performance textile products at Taiwan Textile Fairs in South Asia 2013 at the Taj Samudra, Colombo, Sri Lanka on November 26 and 27, 2013.
Taiwan is one of the largest textile exporters in the world and the Taiwan textile industry is internationally renowned for its manufacturing excellence. Their superior quality yarn, innovative fabrics and textile products are now coming to Sri Lanka and will present their range of state-of-the-art textile products to Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers at the Taiwan Textile Fairs in South Asia 2013.
Apparel exports must be expanded to cater to the growing demand for Sri Lankan made products in the Japanese market, according to Japan’s House of Councillors Member Yamatani Eriko.
“Sri Lankan apparels are of high quality but unfortunately, the supply of Sri Lankan apparels to the demand of the Japanese market is not sufficient at the moment. Therefore, we request steps be taken to expand exports of Sri Lankan apparels to Japan.
Bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Japan has a very long history and trade is one of the most important aspects of our bilateral relations. Ceylon tea and other Sri Lankan products such as apparels and ceramics are already popular in Japan,” Eriko stated.
Sri Lanka’s non-BoI apparel exporters have been now integrated to the crucial global network called Asycuda World (of UNCTAD). And having overcome the global recession, our apparel exports are now back on track-with good news. “Today, Sri Lanka’s apparel sector is entering into a new phase.
As a result of Sri Lanka’s non-BoI apparel manufacturers directly integrating into the online ‘Asycuda World’ system, we have now cleared a major bottleneck in our apparel exports” announced Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on 30 July in Colombo. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the implementation event of the Asycuda World export documentation system for non-BoI apparel exporters held 30 July at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Tunisia, the fifth phosphate producer in the world and a high end, high speed apparel supplier to European fashion world is showing a new opening for Lankan apparel supply chains. And Tunisia is agog over Sri Lanka’s growth rates. “We are almost taken up by your strong GDP growth rates that exceed 6%. I congratulate Sri Lanka for its spectacular growth.
hen you specially compare with the world economic growth rate, it’s such a leading rate” said Tarek Azouz, Ambassador of Tunisia to Sri Lanka on Wednesday (10).
Azouz was addressing Rishad Bathiudeen Minister of Industry & Commerce during his courtesy call on Minister Bathiudeen at EDB premises in Colombo. Also present along with Minister Bathiudeen were Anura Siriwardena Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Bandula Egodage Chairman, Export Development Board and officials from the Department of Commerce.
As bilateral trade volume closes in on the crucial $ 5Bn mark, historic dialogue between Sri Lanka and the European Union appears to bolster even further. “We look for better trade levels and also thank EU for its on-going support,” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce.
Minister Bathiudeen was addressing Ambassador Bernard Savage (Head of the Delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives from the European Commission) on 20 June during Amb. Savage’s farewell courtesy call on Minister Bathiudeen at the EDB premises, Colombo.