Sri Lanka’s garment industry – a silver lining in a black cloud?



Summary of the report

Sri Lanka is in crisis. The economy is in dire straits, inflation has skyrocketed and there are severe shortages of basic goods such as fuel and food. On July 13, 2022, it was reported that the then President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, fled the country following angry protests in the streets of Colombo and later resigned.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, then Prime Minister, was quickly appointed interim president and on July 20, 2022, he was elected president by the Sri Lankan parliament. In this context of descent into economic and political chaos, the garment industry seems to be one of the few silver linings.

Clothing exports in June 2022 reached a monthly record compared to the corresponding month a year earlier. In addition, the value of apparel exports between January and June 2022 was significantly higher than the corresponding period a year earlier, and Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Secretary General Yohan Lawrence appears to remain broadly optimistic about the state of the garment industry. coming.

The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) has signed agreements worth US$76 million for new investments and expansions in the textile and apparel industry for 2022, and a number of Investors would seek investment opportunities in upstream vertical integration. — including the production of raw materials. Upstream vertical integration would allow the garment industry to make greater use of preferential tariff concessions. In addition, it would help to reduce the apparel industry’s reliance on imports for its textile inputs and alleviate issues related to the affordability of imported textile inputs following a drop in the value of the Sri Lankan rupee.

In addition, it would provide the garment industry with the opportunity to offer its customers shorter delivery times. However, much will depend on the success of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding a macroeconomic stabilization program.

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Publisher: Textile Intelligence

“Editorial: The garment industry in Sri Lanka – a silver lining in a dark cloud? »

6 pages, published in July 2022

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