A webinar organized by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Sri Lanka, with leaders of the apparel sector highlighted the industry’s prioritization of employee safety with adherence to comprehensive health measures, while ensuring business continuity and thereby the industry’s sustenance. The theme of the webinar was: The pandemic resilient corporate success of Sri Lanka’s apparel industry. It featured Aroop Hirdaramani, Director, Hirdaramani Group; Shirendra Lawerence, Executive Director, MAS Holdings; Hasib Omar, Executive Director, Moose Clothing Company and Jeeith Senarathne, Senior Manager, Star Garments Group It was moderated by Presantha Jayamaha, President, AMCHAM Sri Lanka.
The four leaders representing some of the industry’s biggest players assured while more than 90 per cent employees have been partially vaccinated, and 70 per cent have been fully vaccinated, companies are going above and beyond in adhering to the health and safety guidelines, seeking to provide the maximum possible protection to employees.
The apparel industry leaders acknowledged the government and health authorities for their contribution in vaccinating employees and the Joint Apparel Associations Forum (JAAF) in advocating vaccination of all employees. While prioritizing employee safety, the industry has to also focus on economic sustainability, to avoid dismantling the relationships that have been built over decades. These are critical to the future of the sector, which accounts for almost half the country’s export earnings. It employs 350,000 individuals directly, and has created 700,000 indirect jobs, and contributes 6 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), they noted.