‘Sri Lanka’s apparel industry performs well’ | Sunday Observer

‘Sri Lanka’s apparel industry performs well’

Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is performing well and the first quarter of this year has shown growth in key markets.

“We have not seen any negative growth in the key markets and are hopeful that the industry will record similar growth patterns in the other quarters as well. The industry is poised to achieve the targeted growth in terms of value and volume and will become a driver of economic growth in the country,” Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Secretary General Tuly Cooray said.

The regaining of the GSP plus facility has played a critical role in achieving impressive growth rates and it has helped the exporters to record higher foreign exchange to the country, he said.

However, Sri Lanka’s apparel exports grew at a slower pace than the industry expectation during the first quarter of this year, recording a growth of 4.1 percent to reach US $ 1.269 billion, compared to the US $ 1.219 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2017, the latest apparel export data released by the JAAF indicated.

For the month of March, the total exports for the first quarter of 2018 and 2017 were US $ 468 million and $ 431 million respectively recording a growth rate of 7.89 percent. The Q1 of 2018 recorded exports to USA, EU and other countries to the value of US $ 212, $ 191 and $ 62 million respectively. The 2017 figures were $ 180, $ 190 and $ 61 million in the USA, EU and other countries respectively. The growth rates were 17.78, 0.53 and 1.64 percent respectively.

“The apparel export growth is based on many factors and one is clearly the revival of the GSP plus facility. The recovery in the global economy has also helped the improved performance in the sector. The global markets, especially, the USA economy is growing and high spending by the consumers on apparel has resulted in more exports,” a senior industry expert said.

Sri Lanka has shown signs of adding innovation and increasing competitiveness which has also helped boost the export performance.

The quality of products has improved over the years and it has attributed to the positive growth, he said.

“We expect that there will be a double digit growth in the coming years if the world economy growth remains on the upward movement. We see that there is a positive turn towards 2018 and beyond,” he said.