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Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar says apparel sector of Sri Lanka has room for growth

Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar has said that the Sri Lankan apparel sector has room for further growth despite the country reaching middle income status.

He highlighted some of the intrinsic advantages of the apparel industry in the country as a tool for growth and provincial development and stressed the importance of viewing Sri Lanka’s position from a South Asian regional perspective in order to compete effectively in an evolving global market. 

The CEO maintained that Sri Lanka’s productivity, skilled labour force, logistics offering and compliance with key sustainability and labour practices, positioned the country as the ideal location to become a hub for the region. He further called for an enabling policy environment and an investment climate to make this vision a reality.

Omar was speaking at the inaugural session of ‘InsideTrack,’ an exclusive, invitation-only series featuring veterans of Sri Lanka’s business, policy-making and development landscape, organised by Asia Securities, one of Sri Lanka’s leading stock broking and research firms. This particular session focused on the topic ‘How will the Apparel & Textile sector evolve in the next 3-5 years?’ He pointed out that the European Union (EU), as a region, was the world’s second largest exporter of apparel, second only to China with a share of 26.3% in 2014. As such, he contended with the view that the apparel industry could not support high-paying jobs was a myth. 

Given Sri Lanka’s niche positioning as a high quality supplier, he opined that the country could position itself higher on the value chain, as an apparel hub of the South Asian region. He also showcased statistics that the growth in the apparel industry will continue, boosted by population growth and rising affluence. Accordingly, the global apparel industry, if it continues at the current pace of growth, will reach $ 834 billion in 2030 from $ 483 billion in 2014. Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar foresees apparel sector maintaining strong growth momentum.

According to Omar, the South Asian region possesses the intrinsic advantages of having the largest population, largest cotton and is a textile base and a skilled talent pool which could enable it to become the leading sourcing region for the world’s top apparel brands.