Jan 31, Colombo: Sri Lanka has earned a record US$ 4.3 billion from the apparel exports in 2013 compared to the US$ 3.8 billion in 2012 according to the acting Chairman of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Noel Priyatilleke.
Speaking at the JAFF 10th Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, Priyatilleke said the successful public-private partnerships as well as conducive regulations by the Government made the 2013 historical year for the apparel industry.
However, the challenge is not only to sustain the momentum but also to grow, the acting Chairman said adding that the Government expects Sri Lankan apparel, tea and rubber to fetch a turnover of US$ 10 billion by 2016 and to be among the top 10 apparel export countries of the world by 2020.
Priyatilleke noted that the time has come to explore all possible avenues to reach this target.
"I do believe that Sri Lankan apparel can achieve it, because of the visionary leadership given by the stalwarts of our industry coupled with the business friendly environment created by our Government. Let us get together to perform this task," he said.
He said the introduction of Gazette notification by the government directing all Shipping Service Providers to ensure that a Bill of Lading clearly indicates whether the consignment is freight collect or freight pre-paid on a request made by the association was a great achievement.
The acting Chairman said the apparel industry is confident that with all these reforms and trade facilitation measures, they should be able to reach the target of US$ 6 billion in 2020.