Sri Lanka's apparel industry is aiming to be a hub for South Asia. It can do this by buying semi-finished garments from other countries in the region and adding value with the aim of increasing export earnings. The country has the technical and design capabilities. It can be a hub for India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar. Sri Lanka has ample cotton and labor pool which gives scalability and cost advantage. It can look at buying semi-finished garments from other countries in the region and do value addition. This can be a potential $20 billion industry.
Sri Lankan apparel has evolved from traditional exports and tailoring designs to providing sophisticated solutions. The apparel categories span sportswear, lingerie, lounge wear, bridal wear, work wear swim wear and children’s wear. The country has the highest apparel exports per capita of any exporting nation in the region.
The industry has had epic growth levels over the past four decades and is today Sri Lanka’s primary foreign exchange earner. South Asia is expected to be one of the main global apparel sourcing regions in the next 15 to 20 years. The region is one of the largest cotton producers and has a large textile manufacturing base.