Sri Lanka’s proposed fabric park in the Eastern Province to commence operations in a year
Sri Lanka’s Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has reportedly said that the proposed fabric park in Eravur in the Easter Province will commence operations within a year.
The Minister has said that instructions have been given to Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BOI) to take immediate steps to set up the fabric park on a 265 acre land in the Eravur Punnakuda area.
The Minister has been quoted as saying that this industrial park, which consists of 10 large scale factories, is expected to create 5,000 direct employment opportunities and a large number of indirect jobs.
The BOI manages the internal development and management of the region while the external Infrastructure Development is implemented by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Industrial Development.
According to reports, Minister Ranatunga has recently inspected the infrastructure development activities being carried out in this area and has instructed that investors should be given the opportunity to build factories in parallel with the development of this infrastructure.
The Minister has also instructed to complete the construction work within a year and has suggested that the beach parallel to the investment zone be developed as a tourist attraction and that a program be set up to enable tourists to use it for coastal activities, The Sunday Morning has reported.
The Minister has emphasized that the garment industry accounts for 44% of the country’s total export earnings and adds US$ 5 billion annually to the country’s national income.
Out of 600 garment factories in the country, only six have textile and raw material factories while the raw material required for the garment industry is imported from countries such as China, India, Taiwan and Indonesia.
These countries are also involved in the garment manufacturing process, which makes it difficult to procure raw materials on time due to the prevailing global competition.
Sri Lanka also spends about US$ 2.8 billion annually on the import of textiles and raw materials for the garment industry.
According to the Minister, the proposed fabric park is to be developed as an eco-friendly industrial park.
Sri Lanka’s manufacturing and exports sectors have shown a growth momentum despite challenges posed by the global Covid 19 pandemic. The two sectors, especially the apparel industry continued operations even during the Covid 19 lockdown last year as well as travel restrictions afterwards. The many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have helped further boost the industry. It is in this backdrop that the government of Sri Lanka decided to set up a dedicated fabric park in the country to further assist the apparel industry to become more competitive in the global platform. Some local apparel manufacturers have even expanded operations to other countries as well. The growth potential in apparel industry has further expanded business/investment opportunities in the sector.
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