Program to revive textile industry with Indian help

Friday, 21 September 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Ministry of Economic Development together with other relevant ministries and institutions has initiated a program to revive the textile industry of Sri Lanka along with the apparel industry.

Economics Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa with the Indian Textile Industry delegationEarlier Sri Lanka had well developed textile industry consisting handlooms. Powerlooms, fabric and cotton industries. But all these sectors were closed down after Sri Lanka introduced free economic policies according to Senior Adviser to the President and Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa when he met the Indian Textile Industry delegation this week.

A high level Indian delegation headed by Secretary to the Ministry of Textile of India Kiran Dhangra is currently in Sri Lanka in order to have a joint program on textile industry between Sri Lanka and India.

 At the outset, the Minister thanked Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles of India Anand Sharma for the immediate action taken by him to strengthen the economic relations between the two countries

since his visit to Sri Lanka on 2 August.

Minister Rajapaksa said at the meeting he had with Sharma they agreed to give special attention to two sectors namely, pharmaceutical sector and textile sector. Immediately after his return to India first he sent a delegation to discuss on pharmaceutical industry. Now he has sent this delegation on textile industry.

He thanked the Minister Anand Sharma for his efficiency and interest taken on Sri Lanka.

Rajapaksa thanked India for granting Sri Lanka additional apparel quota of five million pieces under Indo-Sri Lanka free trade agreement with no restrictions on fabric sourcing. He appreciated the efforts taken by India for sectoral liberalisation of both apparel and textile under the Indo – Sri Lanka free trade Agreement. He said Sri Lanka will welcome India’s help to revive the handloom and power loom industries. These two industries were closely related to the rural community of Sri Lanka.

Under the ‘Divi Naguma’ backyard Economy Development Program these two sectors will develop providing opportunities for employment, skill development and entrepreneurship development for rural people. Handloom sector is confronted with problems such as inadequate yarn supply, poor designs and small markets.

Sri Lanka had several large scale fabric production mills earlier. But all of them are not functioning now. Both countries can have a joint program to renew the fabric production in Sri Lanka since there is a big demand for fabric from the apparel sector as well as local consumers. The Government alone spends large amount of money to import fabric for school uniform annually the Minister said.

The Indian delegation expressed their willingness to have Indian investment in Sri Lanka as joint ventures in textile industry forming strategically alliance between the two countries. India will provide

assistance to set up training and skill development program.  In order to implement these programs and furthering cooperation between the two countries in this sector it was decided to set up a joint working group on textile and apparel. Secretary to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Anura Siriwardhana, Sri Lanka Export Development Board Chairman Janaka Ratnayake, representatives from the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Finance and representatives of the textile and apparel industries in Sri Lanka also participated at this discussion.