Sri Lanka’s apparel export industry hopeful of more opportunities
The apparel export industry of Sri Lanka has reportedly expressed hope of gaining more opportunities for the industry as the apparel supply chain seeks to be less reliant on China as a source for apparel amidst the Covid 19 global pandemic.
Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association Chairman Rehan Lakhany has told Sri Lanka’s state owned Daily News that one of the opportunities that arose with this pandemic situation is the move towards the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
In the short term there is a large demand for any type of PPE products and many companies have started with the supply of non-medical PPE products, the local media report stated.
According to Lakhany, whilst this will help the industry in the short term, it’s unlikely to be something that develops in the longer term, as this is a commodity item produced in mass volumes all over the world. While there are many enquiries for medical PPE such as gloves and masks currently, there are limitations on imports of these raw materials as most countries that produce this raw material are focusing on their domestic requirements.
“Also for surgical products the authenticity of the raw material is key and companies need to go through proper due diligence checks on suppliers. Moreover there is international certification needed for manufacturing facilities and this has both cost and time implications,” he has explained.
Sri Lanka’s apparel export industry is one of the key revenue generation sectors in the country. The EU’s GSP Plus trade concession and the US GSP trade facility enjoyed by Sri Lanka helped the country’s apparel exports compete in the global market. Despite the setback suffered by the country’s apparel sector the new requirements for safety gear would create a new market opportunity for Sri Lanka’s apparel sector. Given the country’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the island, Sri Lanka’s apparel export industry would present new business/investment opportunities.
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