The Sri Lankan’s government’s decision to renegotiate a free-trade agreement with India has been appreciated by the domestic apparel industry. The move will give local producers more access to the Indian market to export their products.
As Hasitha Premaratne, Managing Director, Brandix Group points out, Sri Lankan producers can currently export only eight million pieces per year. However, increased access to the growing Indian middle class will enable them to increase their exports to $1 billion in the future, he added.
Premaratne believes, Sri Lanka can benefit from the current India-China political tensions by increasing its sportswear exports to India. The new FTA, proposed in the 2024 Budget will pave the way for this, he adds. Before the pandemic, Sri Lankan apparel exports revenue had touched $6 billion mark. This year, it is expected to recover to around $5 billion.