Apparel brings in US $ 250mn more in 2019
Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is working with new vigour to reach US $ 6 billion in revenue by the end of this year continuing with the growth momentum recorded last year.
“The country earned a record US$ 5.3 billion with a 5.1 percent year-on-year (YoY) increase in apparel export earnings for 2019 despite a slight decline in export earnings in December, Secretary General Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Tuli Cooray said.
This is approximately $ 250 million more than last year. We have grown in all markets including USA and EU. This growth is significant as apparel is the only sector to record a positive growth last year contributing to the country’s growth trajectory, he said. However, apparel export earnings have declined by 1.71 percent (YoY) to US$ 460 million in December due to a slowdown in key EU and US markets.
“This year, we are expecting to grow with the possibility of reaching $ 6 billion, an increase of $ 300 million. We are confident that this year’s target could be achieved. With plans to receive wider benefits from the GSP+ facility, the industry is looking at the possibility of sourcing fabric from Indonesia and Bangladesh in addition to the present sourcing countries such as India and Pakistan,” he said.
“Sri Lanka and Indonesia have jointly submitted applications to the EU to obtain approval to source fabric from Indonesia with approval pending. We are also seeking support from Bangladesh to meet the fabric requirement to enable a bigger share of GSP+ facility,” he said.
At present, 47 percent of Sri Lanka’s apparels enjoy the facility where as the industry plans to reach up to the level of 60 percent this year. As we need to meet the strict standard in rule of origin, our sourcing partners should be EU approved. To this end we are working with the government to set up a fabric park which is due to be completed within 18 months to reduce dependability,” he said.