Sri Lanka’s batik, handloom and local apparel industry targets US$ 6 billion exports in 2021
Sri Lanka’s export target for the batik, handloom and local apparel industry has been set at US$ 6 billion in 2021, according to The Morning.
“In 2020, the industry faced a loss of US$ 1.2 billion due to Covid, since the exports amounted to US$ 5 .6 billion in 2019 in comparison to US$ 4.4 billion in 2020,” Sri Lanka’s State Minister for Batik, Handloom, and Local Apparel Products Dayasiri Jayasekara has told the local national newspaper.
The government of Sri Lanka, in an attempt to encourage local production and save foreign exchange outflows, has reportedly decided recently to ban batik imports to Sri Lanka.
The State Minister has further pointed out the necessity of establishing an institution to direct local products to foreign markets and create a strong international network through selected representatives from those countries.
The Cabinet of Minister has reportedly approved the proposal presented by the Ministry to register a new company with 100% shares in Lanka Salusala Ltd.
It has also been proposed to implement a programme to promote other local products including batik products, handloom textiles and local apparel products through overseas showrooms and selected representatives from those countries.
The Ministry of Batik, Handloom, and Local Apparel Products has further claimed to increase the 1 million metres of handloom currently woven in the country to 100 million meters of woven handloom within one year.
“This will support 200 villages and involve the revamping of weaving centres which are spread across the country by means of providing raw material and infrastructure,” Jayasekara has been quoted as saying.
Accordingly, private-public partnerships (PPPs) will play a critical role in knowledge transfer, which will be facilitated by PWB (Professionals Without Borders) where the expertise of strategy, finance, project management, marketing, branding, lean manufacturing, and digital marketing will be fed into the Ministry at no extra cost.
Also, Laksala and Salusala are to be revamped and rebranded under this project to facilitate the distribution and sales of production which is made in the centres.
“Nine fabric parks will be established for franchising Laksala and Salusala in Sri Lanka and targets to promote handloom to China, India, Japan, Australia, UK, and the US,” the State Minister has said.
The State Ministry of Batik, Handloom, and Local Apparel Products also has plans to build infrastructure facilities in the nine provinces while renovating 14 textile training institutes.
The industry is set to establish an innovation and research and development centre on textile and design due to the lack of quality raw material for batik and handlooms, the news report stated.
In addition, concessionary loans in coordination with the Central Bank and through public and private banks are to be arranged with an attempt to support the entrepreneurs on initial capital and working capital needs.
Sri Lanka’s local apparel sector is a fast expanding sector providing many business/investment opportunities. Given Sri Lanka’s many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country, local apparel exports would provide a lucrative business/investment opportunity to the discerning investor. The government of Sri Lanka has also provided many incentives to stakeholders to further expand the operations. Foreign businesses/investors could look at providing technical expertise while also exploring the possibility of setting up joint ventures/partnerships with local apparel manufacturers.
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