2017 apparel earnings to hit $4.7 B Rishad

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By 2018-01-17

By Zohara Ghaffoor

Sri Lanka's apparel earnings are set to reach US$ 4.7 billion for 2017, according to Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen.

Addressing the launch of the 8th edition of the Apparel Industry Suppliers Exhibition (AISEX) yesterday Bathiudeen said the apparel industry had performed positively, making note that Sri Lanka's export earnings according to the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SAEA) had reached US$ 4.366 billion from January to November over US$ 4.675 billion, 2016's total apparel earnings.
The Minister said in November last year had also performed extremely well with an export earning of $406 million over $364 million achieved in 2016, which was a Year-on-Year growth of 11%.

Bathiudeen noted that the US and the EU markets which accounted for 42% and 38% of total apparel exports showed significant growth in export earnings.

He said, "Apparel exports to the US from January to November had reached $187 million, which is a Year-on-Year growth of 12%. EU on the other side has reached $166 million with a Year- on-Year growth of 13%."

Chairman, SAEA, Felix Fernando, speaking to Ceylon FT said, Sri Lanka declined to 5.5% in its apparel export earnings from January to June 2017, but subsequently after the GSP+, he said from July to November 2017 apparel earnings had grown by 10.5%.
Chairman, Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Sharad Amalean, speaking at the same event said the gaining of the GSP+ was a major boost for the positive trend apparel earnings had seen in the recent past.

The Minister lauded apparel manufacturers for the positive performance in export earnings the country had achieved and the contribution to the economy through employment opportunities specifically to the female labour force throughout the years. He said the exhibition will be a net working platform for the apparel industry.

The original target of the apparel industry was $ 8.5 billion by 2020. However, this target was revised by the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association to $ 8 billion by 2022, owing to the delay in regaining the GSP+.

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