GSP+ setback triggers ambitious garment export pronouncements
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 28 December 2010, 03:44 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Government said it has plans to increase the total export of garments to US $4 billion by the year 2015, the state owned Dinamina newspaper said. The article comes at a time when the industry is suffering from the setback from GSP + concession termination for Sri Lanka by the European Union due to Sri Lanka's failure to EU set human rights standards.
According to the article, Sri Lanka’s economy is now burgeoning in the Asian region, and therefore, the government is looking at increasing garment exports in the coming years in its attempt to achieve the announced garment export target.
The article also said that discussions are underway with interested foreign buyers to increase garment exports from Sri Lanka, to achieve this target.
The Sri Lanka Garment Buying Officers Association (SLGBOA) Secretary Hiran Bandaranaike said earlier that if the GSP+ status is not restored in the near future, Sri Lanka stands to lose millions of dollars worth of apparel exports to the 27–nation EU market and the livelihood of thousands of apparel sector workers are at stake, as the withdrawal of the privileges is expected to affect large number of factories.
The garment industry is a major part of Sri Lanka’s economy, taking up 46% of its total exports and 67% of its total industrial production. For Sri Lanka, the United States and Europe are its most important markets, with big name buyers such as Victoria’s Secret and Vanity Fair purchasing a total of 95% of the garment industry’s exports. The garment industry employs 350,000 workers directly and another 750,000 indirectly.
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