The Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association Chairman Felix Fernando has asked the Indian government to enhance apparel quota system significantly or remove it completely. This will give the Sri Lankan apparel exporters more confidence in doing business in the Indian subcontinent, he feels. Since quota restrictions have been imposed, Sri Lankan can export only a certain quantity. The existing apparel quota is not sufficient enough for large scale Sri Lankan apparel manufactures to export to the Indian market and it is pertinent to remove these existing impediments to create win opportunities for both countries.
Sri Lankan apparel exports have grown substantially recording a 6 per cent growth over the last six months, the Association Chairman was of the view that the current trend would continue in the coming months. Sri Lanka currently exports fabrics and other materials from several ASEAN countries including China which are not eligible to receive the GSP Plus benefit. There is a need for a methodology to help the country’s manufactures to obtain required fabrics and materials from India rather than importing from several ASEAN Countries.
Special Assignments Minister, Sarath Amunugama pointes out the apparel quota was given not with the idea of restricting, it was given with the idea of stimulating trade. Today, that objective is not necessarily the utmost. Sri Lanka has well and now is ready to compete. Apparel is very sensitive product to India given its own apparel industry, the minister noted adding removing or improving the existing quota wouldn’t affect the extensiveness of the Indian market, but it would certainly be a nice gesture for a country like Sri Lanka.