Rishad Bathiudeen, Sri Lanka's Minister of Commerce and Industry has vowed to safeguard the country's apparel industry from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement which has the potential to result in trade diversion from Sri Lanka. The minister said, we need to be able to carefully address the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. We in the government understand that TPP is a trade challenge in the future and are currently studying it.
Bathiudeen was addressing the launch of Ransalu Pranama Combo Card jointly by Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) Sri Lanka, Channel 17, Mobitel and Commercial Bank at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo on May 9. The country's pioneering workforce smartcard was launched to honor its apparel workforce has matured to become the first ever dual swipe card in the country.
Further, the minister said the TPP is not a trade challenge only for Sri Lanka but it even affects trading systems of its own 12 member countries in the Asia-Pacific region including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam. The minister said Sri Lanka however, can generally expect some major aspects that could change and advised the apparel manufacturers to safeguard their designs.