Remove impediments, create win-win situation - Exporters | Sunday Observer

Remove impediments, create win-win situation - Exporters

The apparel quota given by the Indian Government has become a restriction for apparel exports. Sri Lanka needs more flexibility in the quantity exported, Sri Lankan apparel exporters say.

Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters’ Association Chairman Felix Fernando requested the Indian Government to either enhance the existing apparel quota to a sizable amount or to remove it. “This will give Sri Lankan apparel exporters more confidence in doing business in the Indian subcontinent,” he said.

“Since quota restrictions have been imposed, we can export only a certain quantity. The existing apparel quota is not sufficient enough for large scale Sri Lankan apparel manufactures to export to the Indian market and it is pertinent to remove these existing impediments to create a win-win situation for both countries,” he said. Fernando was speaking at the inauguration of the India International Textiles Expo 2018 Exhibition cum Buyer Seller Meet held recently in Colombo.

Noting that Sri Lankan apparel exports have grown significantly, registering a 6% growth over the last six months, Fernando expressed hope that the current trend would continue in the coming months as well.

“Sri Lanka currently imports fabrics and other material from several ASEAN countries including China which are not eligible to receive the GSP Plus benefit,” he said. Fernando also stressed the need to come up with a proper mechanism that would ultimately help Sri Lankan manufactures to obtain required fabrics and materials from India rather than importing from several ASEAN countries. “Current issues need to be sorted out if we need to get more and more fabrics from India,” he said.

Minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama said, “the apparel quota was given not with the idea of restricting, it was given with the idea of stimulating trade.

Today, that objective is not necessarily the utmost. We’ve done very well and we’re now ready to compete. This is an area where we can work together.”

Apparel is “ a very sensitive product to India” given its own apparel industry, the Minister said, adding that removing or improving the existing quota wouldn’t affect the vastness of the Indian market, but it would certainly be a gesture of importance for a country like Sri Lanka.

India International Textiles Expo 2018 Exhibition cum Buyer Seller Meet is organized by the Power Loom Development and Export Promotion Council of India (PDEXCIL). More than 35 Indian textile manufacturers/exporters are showcasing Indian fabrics, made-ups, home textiles in various blends and designs, during the exhibition. 

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