Sri Lanka is heading towards achieving the apparel export target of US$ 10 billion by 2016, set by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said.

Speaking at an event at the Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel (SLITA) in Ratmalana, the Minister said the country’s apparel sector has showed strong performance earning revenues of $4.3 billion in 2013, and Sri Lanka is now heading for bigger apparel dreams. President Mahinda Rajapaksa now wants us to be among the world’s top 10 apparel export countries by 2020.

The Minister while stating that In 2013 Sri Lanka’s apparel sector entered the G4 manufacturing levels for the first time in partnership with a global multinational, the PVH Corporation and commended the commitment made by apparel sector to lead the country’s exports performance. The Minister also thanked the Treasury for the assistance rendered to upgrade apparel training facilities.

“Today, Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel under the Trade and Commerce Ministry is taking a major step, in its on-going, contribution to Sri Lanka apparel sector. We are commencing a footwear and leather unit and the new, engineering building with high tech as a key event of the on-going development efforts of this institution. SLITA, operating under my Ministry caters to the industry in training, testing, consultancy and technical services. We are pleased, to say that SLITA has a world class testing lab which is internationally accredited and is certified with ISO 17025 and 9001 standards” said Minister Bathiudeen.

Minister Bathiudeen also thanked the President for providing triple deductions in the last budget for research and innovation carried out within apparel businesses, which has encouraged strong performance of the sector.

The Central Bank data shows that Textiles and garment exports from Sri Lanka grew by 23.4 percent to $ 412 million in January 2014, compared to exports of $333.9 million made during the same month in year 2013.

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