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Sunday, 12 April 2015

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'Lanka should exploit niche markets'

Sri Lanka's exporters eagerly await the regaining of GSP+ to boost volumes and revenue, capitalising on available opportunities.

"What we need today is not only GSP plus, but other trade concessions from USA, Japan and other countries as well," Chairman, Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association, Anil Wettewa told the annual general meeting of the Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association in Colombo recently.

"Sri Lanka is in the forefront of quality lingerie manufacturing. This is only one of the several niche markets that we can exploit. "We should take this further. With the apparel sourcing sector working closely with the garment industry, the US $ 6 billion target could be achieved sooner than we think," he said.

The apparel sourcing sector of the garment industry has brought in new technology and skills to the stakeholders. At the beginning all accessories had to be imported. However, today the industry is supported by able organisations that turn out a large percentage of the needs, he said.

The garment industry has brought the country several benefits. Besides the skill and technology brought into the country there is a large improvement in the service sector today. This is mainly due to the growth of the garment industry, Director General of Commerce, R.D.S. Kumararatne said.

Banking and insurance are two specific areas that have shown significant improvement. "Today, we have good connections globally and our companies can transact business with any country in the world. Recently when a factory in Bangladesh caught fire, some workers died as they had no proper fire escapes. Due to this, European and US garment buyers insist that workers be given certain minimum facilities before placing orders with factories in Bangladesh," he said.

- SJ

 

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