- Jan-Sept apparel exports surge, total close to $4 bn
- GSP Plus boosted SL apparel exports to EU, $1.67 b so far
- Apparel exports to EU rose only 2% in pre-GSP Plus, but 11.3% surge after GSP arrived
- Minister says Govt.’s improved int’l relations brought in EU GSP+
The European Union’s GSP Plus trade facility has delivered its most prominent success for Sri Lankan exports to-date since its announcement, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said.
“As a result of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s efforts on GSP Plus, our apparel exports from January to September this year has increased by 11.3% to $1.67 billion,” he said.
Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the launch event of the third edition of Intex South Asia 2017 in Colombo on 15 November joined by the Prime Minister, South African High Commissioner to Sri Lanka R. P. Marks and High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
Having completed two previous fairs in 2015 and 2016 in Colombo, Intex has now become the largest and sole international textile sourcing event in South Asia for yarns, apparel fabrics, and accessories. A strong presence of Chinese, Indian and Hong Kong participants is seen-along with leading multinationals such as Reliance Industries, Bombay Rayon Fashions Ltd., Mekotex, The Woolmark Company showcased their material at this event which concluded yesterday.
Minister Bathiudeen stressed that the EU GSP Plus has delivered for Sri Lankan apparel exports.
“Our Government’s special efforts to improve our international relations were successful and has resulted in Sri Lanka receiving the EU GSP Plus which greatly strengthened our exports - especially apparel exports,” he said, adding: “Our apparel exports to the EU had increased by only 2% from January to September 2016 in comparison to the same period in 2015. As a result of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s efforts, after receiving EU GSP Plus, our apparel exports to EU from January to September this year, compared to the same period last year at US $ 1.5 billion, has increased by 11.3% to $1.67 billion. Even though the US market is not connected to the EU GSP, our apparel exports to US too has increased this year by 12% to $1.8 billion (from January to September). I am also pleased to say that our overall apparel exports to all countries this year, from January to September, increased by 13.4% to $3.97 billion in comparison to the same period last year at $3.5 billion. We believe this growth trend would continue and therefore expect even better performance next year.”
In 2016, Sri Lanka’s apparel exports were at $4.86 billion, claiming 43% of the total Sri Lankan exports basket of that year.