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China eyes opportunities to set up factories in Sri Lanka

Several Chinese textiles and apparel companies are looking at opportunities to set up offshore manufacturing zones in Sri Lanka under the proposed Sri Lanka - China Free Trade Agreement. Conference and Exhibition Management Services, Global Operations Group Director, S S Sarwar said that with increasing competition, Sri Lanka industries can expand their share in the global market and at the same time attract more foreign investment for highly potential industries, specially the garments and textile industry.


Garment factories in Bangladesh are managed by Sri Lankan middle and senior management staff. Sri Lankan apparel exports surpassed $4 billion and it is expected to increase further. The total number of garment factories in Sri Lanka is estimated to be around 450. Even though Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is small in size compared to Africa and Bangladesh. Sri Lanka’s close proximity to major trade routes and the hassle free Colombo port will immensely help to take the industry to next level. 


As per Sarwar, Sri Lankan garment factories are following environmental friendly employment practices and are operated in good working conditions compared to their counterparts in the region. Sri Lanka is the world’s largest exporter of women’s lingerie is also blessed with high calibre resource people. However, the industry needs latest technology and other resources to stay up-to-date with the quality of competitors existing worldwide. Sri Lanka has the potential to expand their share in markets overseas while attracting more foreign investment in the highly potential garments and textile industry with the ever-increasing competition in the world market.


Sarwar expects the textile and apparel sector to immensely benefit through Sri Lanka-China Free Trade agreement to be signed in the near future.


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