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Sri Lanka apparel industry to draw up its next 5-year plan

To draw up its third five year plan, the apparel industry is in the process of discussion among key stakeholders. With preparations underway to draft the next five year plan the industry is carrying out discussions on a number of issues particularly the trade concessions with the European Union (EU), a new US backed trade partnership with 12 countries, and the bilateral trade agreement with the Chinese authorities. According to the officials, the apparel industry is waiting for the egaining of the EU trade concessions of GSP plus that will be forthcoming most likely by the end of the year.

Once the fish ban on Sri Lanka is lifted the country would soon thereafter submit their application to obtain the trade concessions from the EU. The recently signed Trans Pacific Partnership agreement between 12 other countries is currently being discussed among members of the industry. The apparel industry is trying to understand the implication of the said agreement as it involves a partnership of 12 countries which command 45 per cent of the world GDP that has custom territories.

According to the officials, countries like Vietnam have already engaged in negotiations to gain concessions from the TPP which is likely to be granted in about two years. In the wake of these developments it was pertinent that Sri Lanka looks at its implications on the apparel sector based on issues relating to purchasing of yarn and fabric from countries within the grouping