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US-China trade row to benefit Sri Lankan apparel exporters

  

Wing Tak Bill Lam, Chairman, Teejak Lanka feels, trade conflict between the United States and China could assist countries like Sri Lanka to raise exports. Lam says Sri Lankan exports of textiles and garments are likely to decline in the near term, especially to key export destinations of Europe and the US.

Sri Lankan apparel exports during the first six months of this year declined 30 per cent to $1.8 billion from $2.6 billion a year ago. Apparel exports to the European Union during the first six months of this year declined 32 per cent to $753 million from $1.1 billion recorded a year earlier, while exports to the US during the same period declined 27 per cent to $830.5 million from $1.14 billion.

However, with COVID-19 global pandemic many companies are now frightened to rely on single destinations for its supply chain. According to Lam, these countries are now moving away from China to partner with other South Asian countries, which Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers can easily tap into, according to Sri Lankan media reports. Statistics released by the Apparel Exporters Association indicates, apparel exports in June this year reached $382 million, down by 20.5 per cent from $481 million recorded during the corresponding month of last year.

 
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