Feb 11, Colombo: The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Major General (Retd.) Qasim Qureshi along with Sri Lankan Minister for Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa inaugurated the Pakistan sponsored handloom textile training project and a textile village at Kottala-Meerigama in the Western Province.
Speaking on the occasion, Pakistani High Commissioner underlined the focus of Pakistan's new government and said that deepening of economic and commercial cooperation, especially with regional countries, is the top foreign policy priority of the Pakistani government.
Minister Rajapaksa thanked the Government and people of Pakistan on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government for supporting the handloom textile training project and opening the textile village at Kottala-Meerigama.
He requested the High Commissioner to examine the possibilities of arranging trainers for the Cottage Industry Development in Sri Lanka, in particular the handloom sector.
Pakistan Government has provided all the assistance for the project initiated under the guidance of Liya Abhiman organization to revive the traditional handloom industry in the country.
The project envisages training of 75 individuals along with donation of handlooms, hand winders, accessories and raw material to the selected handloom operators.
The handloom center in Kottala would provide training courses as well as other necessary equipment and technological assistance, for artisans to develop new designs and market their products.
In addition to the direct beneficiaries, hundreds of people will gain indirect employment from the revival of this cottage industry.
During the ceremony, the beneficiaries were handed over the ownership documents of the handlooms and other equipment provided with Pakistan's assistance.
Pakistan has a strong, thriving and vibrant textile sector, with cotton production and entire value addition chain, including production of yarn, fabric, dyeing and printing, knitwear, and apparel. Textiles are the largest manufacturing sector in Pakistan's economy and accounts for US $ 12.6 billion annual exports.
Chairperson of Liya Abhiman Pushpa Rajapaksa, Mrs Qasim Qureshi and Textile Department Director Vijitha Hemapriya also attended the event.