NCE emphasises leading role played by apparel sector amidst COVID -19 challenges

Monday, 12 October 2020 00:15 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The National Chamber of Exporters said yesterday the apparel sector contributes 44% to Sri Lanka’s exports revenue and provides employment opportunities to a large labour force in rural and urban areas of the country. 

The sector’s direct and indirect employment has contributed to uplifting living standards, conforming to globally renowned ethical and good manufacturing practices (GMP). This has earned it the sobriquet ‘Garments without Guilt’ while catering to many internationally reputed brands. 

The enterprises export their products to discerning markets led by the US, EU and the Far East. With the COVID-19 pandemic, both large and SME exporters adapted their product portfolios to match a wide range of special protective apparels that were urgently needed by consumers. This earned them confidence and reputation among buyers for being able to change-up production during challenging times.

The COVID-19 preventive measures taken by Sri Lanka helped minimise the effects caused by the pandemic. Effective polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and contact-tracing mechanisms have supported the dedicated medical personnel, healthcare workers, and the Tri-Forces to manage the pandemic efficiently. It is commendable to note the leadership provided by the President and his dedicated team of officials to keep our country safe in the best possible manner.

The apparel producers have adopted the health guidelines issued by the Government to control the spread of the pandemic. 

“Based on the recent incidents, we at the NCE wish to reiterate the importance of effective enforcement of health protocols at all factories. While appreciating the swift measures adopted by the authorities to minimise the impact of the present situation, we urge all to strictly adhere to health protocols and ensure similar events do not occur in the future. We need to be mindful that each time a ‘relapse’ occurs, the country undergoes socio-economic challenges that takes a very long time to remedy.”