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DateLine Sunday, 11 May 2008





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Moving up the value chain is key to apparel industry’s future - LMD

In a paper produced by STING Consultants, extracts of which are reproduced in the business magazine LMD, its May Cover Supplement notes that “the long-term goal must surely be to reach out to consumers and establish the unique value-added capabilities of Sri Lanka Apparel - like, what the British did with Ceylon Tea many decades ago”.

LMD’s lead story also notes that “whilst the tea industry didn’t foresee the value of branding at that time - and let the opportunity slip - the apparel industry must now look to the future. Indeed, it is leading the charge, by means of a highly differentiated brand strategy in the global marketplace.”

Sri Lanka’s challenge, the magazine said, “to move up the value chain - increasingly providing more intricate and complex apparel, whilst ensuring that its manufacturing capabilities are the best in the world.”

But: “Yet, there is a need to be price-competitive, which means that energy costs need to be low, transportation needs to be more efficient and the industry still has to rely on globally competitive wages.”

According to LMD, the industry is now using the ‘Garments Without Guilt’ tags on the sample clothing despatched to buyers the world over.

“The supporting marketing collateral is also being used by individual manufacturers in their promotional initiatives. Plans are under way to implement a viral marketing initiative on the Web.

In addition, the message has been disseminated through such as the ILO and The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Summit. Further initiatives are planned at environmental and social-responsibility fora,” the journal said.

“The manner in which corporates do business is now directly linked to their performance - which, in turn, impacts shareholders’ return on investment.

Despite these factors, the apparel industry has to contend with the relentless drive of buyers to obtain their supply requirements at the lowest possible price. This is dictated by the need to continue to improve margins to provide better returns,” LMD said.

“Consumers, too, are extremely price-conscious and shop for apparel that provides the best value,” the cover story said, adding that “maintaining an ethical manufacturing practice is not cheap.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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