SL firms eye China apparel market
With the Chinese government showing great keenness to cultivate Sri Lanka, playing host to a steady stream of businessmen, bankers and journalists from the island nation, the Lankan garment industry has begun to eye the US$ 4 billion Chinese apparels market.
The prospect of Lankan companies penetrating the huge Chinese market has brightened with the two countries declaring their intention to conclude talks for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2014.
“China is a huge exporter of apparels, but it also imports US$ 4 billion worth of apparels especially of the high-end variety. The Chinese are going in for international brands, some of which are made in Lanka. Lanka has on offer world class apparels at lower rates,” secretary general of the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) M P T Cooray, told Express here on Tuesday.
Cooray quoted Ashraf Omar of the leading Lankan brand Brandix as saying that while the working cost of running an apparel factory in China was US$ 2 per hour, it was US$ 1 in Lanka.