Sri Lanka hopes to export garments worth $5 billion in 2018 especially since it enjoys the benefits of GSP Plus. With anti dumping laws in place, entering into trade agreements will have far reaching benefits. The sector is considering a new business model for growth which is expected to provide a significant boost to exports.
The country recorded $4.88 billion in apparel exports in 2017 and earns 43 per cent of its foreign exchange through apparel and textile exports. With the limited supply base, however, the apparel industry faces competition for labor. So skill development will be given consideration and more youth will be encouraged to join the industry. The supply chain will be integrated while meeting the needs of international buyers.
Sri Lanka’s competitors are Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, China and Ethiopia. Sri Lanka is also hoping to convince India to remove the existing quota system for the apparel industry and instead request a 500 million dollar worth trade deal.
Negotiations are currently underway between the two countries to ascertain whether the existing quota system for the sale of garments to India that is limited to eight million pieces annually worth $30 million could be altered to a higher $500 million worth value-based system.