Lanka has potential to grow in the global market
Treasury Secretary Dr P.B. Jayasundara said the clothing industry has
consolidated with the economy. Sri Lanka's total exports amounts to US$
7.2bn out of which clothing accounts for US$ 3.3 bn which is about 46
percent of the total exports, Dr Jayasundera told a seminar.
Dr Rohana Kuruppu
The seminar on "Insight to efficiency optimization to elevate the Sri
Lankan garment industry to meet the global competition was held at the
Galadari hotel recently. This was organized by the Textile Institute,
Sri Lanka section in collaboration with A&E Lanka Ltd.
He further said that Sri Lanka imports $ 10.5 bn per year thus having
a net importer value of US$ 3.3 bn. Dr Jayasundara inquired from the
industry whether this could be reversed so that Sri Lanka could have
He said the government will address the imports whilst the industry
to increase the export value. To make this a reality, the entire
industrial sector will have to increase at least US $ 3.3 bn in exports
and he requested the clothing industry to contribute about US $ 1.6 bn
in the next 3-5 years.
This is the challenge he posed at the industry. In order to
materialize this concept, the clothing industry will have to find new
markets in addition to the traditional markets. Among the new markets,
it would be necessary to identify global niche markets, was his opinion.
Textile Institute, Sri Lanka Section Chairman Dr Rohana Kuruppu and
Brandix College of Clothing Technology made a presentation on global
trends in the clothing industry and its impact on Sri Lanka's industry.
He argued that the global economy in the context of clothing business is
not with negative growth but with opportunities for those who can make
use of it. He emphasized that markets in US and EU are sluggish but
countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh have made significant progress in
He explained that SAARC and ASEAN countries have become leading
suppliers to US and EU clothing markets. Dr Kuruppu pointed out that
price of imports to US stood at average US$ 1.85 per square meter
equivalent (sme) but SAARC countries have maintained at US$ 1.69 per sme
during 2008. Surprisingly, the average price of imports from ASEAN
countries was at US$ 2.68 per sme during the same period, lamented Dr
This means, the price within the SAARC countries is very competitive
and there may be good reasons for ASEAN countries to fetch 37 percent
more than South Asian countries to US market.
At the same time, he presented statistics to confirm that prices rose
in the EU market too. The average price of imports from Vietnam rose by
a significant 49 percent during 2008.
These data suggests that US and EU markets have potential growth and
left to individual countries to plan their strategy to increase their
Open University Senior Lecturer Dr Anbahan Ariyadural suggested that
qualifications and training have not correlated with efficiency and
therefore, it is necessary to study variables that cause ineffectiveness