Sri Lanka Apparel exports expected to reach US$ 4.7 billion in 2017

Sri Lanka is reporting a surge in latest apparel exports and the revenues from apparel exports in 2017 are expected to reach US$ 4.7 billion surpassing 2016 revenues of US$ 4.3 billion, according to the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen.

“Our apparel revenues from January to November last year (2017) has exceeded Sri Lanka’s entire apparel exports for 2016 which was US$ 4.3 billion,” Minister Bathiudeen said addressing the launch of ninth Apparel Industry Suppliers Exhibition (AISEX) 2018 by Lanka Exhibitions & Conference Services in Colombo.

“The latest apparel export total from January to November last year (2017) is now reported by Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association at a strong US$ 4.366 billion. Therefore we now expect that the final total apparel exports for entire 2017 would clearly exceed the exports of 2016, and expect it to be in the range of US$ 4.7 billion,” he said. According to the Minister, the November 2017 monthly apparel exports of US$ 406 million is an 11% increase in comparison to US$ 364 million in November 2016.

“I praise Sri Lanka apparel industry and the exporters for this great performance. As you may already know Textile and Apparel are almost half of our total annual exports of all products. Our largest apparel export market is the US at around 42% followed by the EU at around 38%What is more important is that two-thirds of the apparel workforce are women and therefore this sector is a major industry supporting the development of our female labor force. Therefore it is clear that events such as AISEX help strengthen our apparel sector in many ways.”

The two major export destinations for Lankan apparel showed a positive trend In January-November 2017. In this period, the total apparel exports to the US was $ 1.959 billion (slightly up from 2016 Jan-November’s US$ 1.94 billion), export to EU was at US$ 1.84 billion (up from 2016 Jan-November’s US$ 1.80 billion).

Joining Minister Bathiudeen at this event were Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha De Silva, Chairman of Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Sharad Amalean, Managing Director of Lanka Exhibitions & Conference Services Arjun Dharmadasa and Hairong Investments International Pvt Ltd’s Managing Director Dr. Palitha Kohona.

First held in 1998, today AISEX has become a major industry event in Colombo for apparel export manufacturers and industry suppliers of Sri Lanka and abroad. The expo is scheduled to be held in Colombo in mid-May 2018.


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