Sri Lanka's apparel industry says it is gearing up to transform the country into an Asian apparel hub, starting this year.
"Our target is US$5bn in export revenues by 2015," Mr Noel Priyatillake, deputy chairman of JAAF, the apparel industry representative body, told just-style. "Out of this figure, we hope to achieve US$4bn through export growth and the balance US$1bn through hub activities."
He added: "The government has, in principle, already agreed to the hub concept. So we will be developing a detailed proposal for the government on this soon."
Hub activities include a range of services for local factories and international apparel brands.
For instance, Sri Lanka will be a hub to source international business, that will then be transferred to other suitable Asian destinations for manufacturing.
Many large Sri Lankan apparel companies have already established factories in Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India, Cambodia and Vietnam, which would allow the transfer of manufacturing to the most cost efficient location.
Sri Lanka's geographic location will also be used to provide other centralised logistical services, such as storage and re-export facilities for international buyers. This would allow international brands that manufacture in different Asian countries to use Sri Lanka as a distribution hub.
To facilitate this process the government has agreed to set up freeport and entrepôt trading facilities and other infrastructure support.
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