Sri Lanka's apparel sector has progressed from its origins to the ODM stage (original design manufacturing) and is now striving to stamp its seal as a leading international OEM (original equipment manufacturer) supplier to the world market, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka Rishad said yesterday.
Addressing the inaugural event of the 22nd Annual Ransalu national textile exhibition on Tuesday (December 18) at BMICH in Colombo, Minister Bathiyutheen said Sri Lanka's textile and handloom sphere is now stepping beyond its 'ODM supplier tag' in the global market.
Sri Lanka's textile and apparel sector encouraged by the direct sourcing of world's third largest retailer TESCO's as well as recent backing from the Indian government for its revival, has performed well this year.
"This year is a milestone year for Sri Lanka's textiles and apparel industries," the Minister said adding that up to September Sri Lanka has exported US$ 2.8 billion worth apparels.
Sri Lanka's handloom industry is estimated to be around US$ 13 million annually, and the high level Textile Taskforce of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is pushing to upgrade the historic segment towards the ODM stage, the Minister revealed.
In 2011, Sri Lanka has exported US$ 4.17 billion garments and textiles exports ,a t40% share of overall exports from the country, while Lankan woven fabric exports in the same year hit US$ 98.18 million.
The Industry and Commerce Minister commended the successful initiatives of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa to enlist the support of the Indian government of for enhanced market access for Sri Lanka's apparel exports.
On a request made by Sri Lanka, India has agreed to provide greater market access for Sri Lanka's garment sector.
This year's Exhibition organized by the Department of Textiles of the Ministry has been expanded to showcase Sri Lanka's handlooms, textiles, fabrics and apparels sectors under one roof for the first time.
The two-day show featuring 75 top exhibitors will conclude today.