Sri Lanka to boost foreign exchange earnings through local industries
Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Batik, Handloom and Local Apparel Production Dayasiri Jayasekera is looking at revamping the state owned Laksala and Salusala with several ground-breaking initiatives in order to increase foreign exchange earnings to the country through local industries.
The State Minister has reportedly adopted a two-pronged strategy to revamp and promote the two state entities.
Jayasekera has already taken steps to set up the overseas franchise store for Laksala to market its products in Miami in the US and Dubai in the Middle East.
Plans are also afoot to have franchise agreements in the UK, Japan, Australia, Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, China.
The State Minister is also hopeful of franchising Salusala locally under a public-private partnership (PPP) model after securing approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.
“The idea is to open up Government-owned or franchised Department Stores at district level in partnership with the private sector. These Department stores will exclusively sell Laksala gift products as well as Salusala products which in the future will include BOI factories producing world-class clothing,” Jayasekera has been quoted as saying, adding, “For many decades Sri Lanka has been producing for several of the world-famous clothing brands. However, despite that talent and expertise, Sri Lanka spends valuable foreign exchange to import cheap clothing from overseas.”
According to local media reports, an estimated US$ 100 to US$ 150 million is annually spent on imports.
“We have become the dumping ground for off-season and cheap quality clothing from Southeast Asia and Far East. We cannot let this continue. Going forward the country cannot afford to spend foreign exchange on import of such products. This cannot be condoned especially when Sri Lanka is a world-class apparel producer,” the State Minister has added.
Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and exports sectors have shown a growth momentum amidst pandemic challenges. The many trade agreements as well as concessions enjoyed by the country have also boosted Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and exports sectors. The government of Sri Lanka is looking at further developing local industries with the aim of further promoting local exports. Sri Lanka’s business conducive environment and the ease of doing business environment in the country have all helped boost the country’s local industries. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore the growing business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s local manufacturing and exports sectors.
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