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Sri Lanka looks to clothe the world

Sri Lanka is looking at developing into a global fashion giant. The apparel industry is focusing on promoting value against volume in a highly competitive global market to boost export revenue. Apparel manufacturers are also seeking to infuse local designs, materials and fabrics into the production of value added functional or fashion apparels for the global market.

There is a large segment of Indians who prefer to purchase Sri Lankan garments due to their high quality and price competiveness. So Sri Lanka needs to manufacture high-end garments particularly targeting the growing Indian upper-class segment. This is in addition to supplying products to conventional markets such as the EU and the US.

Lanka should also look at developing its domestic apparel manufacturing sector, which is growing at a fast pace. While the country’s domestic apparel manufacturing market itself is close to about $2.5 billion, exports account for around $5 billion.

In the post quota era the Sri Lankan garment industry progressively lost market share to cheaper sourcing destinations. The country’s garment manufacturing industry went in for a re-positioning to become internationally more competitive. The country established itself as a sourcing destination of quality garments produced under high ethical and manufacturing standards. In order to attract international buyers, the industry in Sri Lanka has built its reputation over the years on factors other than price. These are quality, on-time delivery and great customer service, ethical and environmentally friendly employment practices, good working conditions and payment of decent wage rates.