‘SL’s exporters eagerly awaiting news of GSP+’



by Hasitha Ayeshmantha


‘The exporters of Sri Lanka, are eagerly awaiting news of GSP+ with the aim of further boosting their sales by capitalizing on the available opportunities, the newly appointed chairman of the Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association (SLASA) Anil Wettewe said, addressing the 22nd Annual General Meeting of the Association recently.


Speaking to the media at the event, the chairman of SLASA expressed the Association’s willingness to embrace GSP+ and also expressed his wish that the talks concerned would end in a beneficial way for the country.


"The need of the hour are FTAs and Trade concessions, not only the GSP+ but we need to look closely at all other countries, including USA, Japan and the BRIC Wettewa said.


Further commenting on SLASA’s commencement under many challenges Wettewa said that it should be appreciated that despite the strong currency and limited labour supply, and zero concessions, the industry has surged to its heights from 4.3 billion US dollars to 4.75 billion US dollars.


Speaking about the apparel trade in Sri Lanka, the SLASA chairman said that despite other challenges, the apparel trade has been able to maintain solidity in recent years. He added that the apparel trade in Sri Lanka, will be facing new challenges in the coming years, but highlighted that if they are able to maintain good sustainability, it would act as a much better stance against future challenges. He also asserted that cheap labour will be a thing of the past in Sri Lanka, in comparison to some of their competitors.


Hiran Bandaranaike, who is the current secretary, SLASA, speaking on the occassion stated that this was the grand annual event of the Sri Lanka Apparel Sourcing Association. He added that SLASA is now 22 years old and that SLASA will continue to cater to the necessities of the buying offices and factories across the country.


At the AGM, Anil Wettewe, General Manager of Garment Services Lanka was unanimously appointed chairman,SLASA, while Chanaka Perera, Regional Director of Next Sourcing Ltd and Gayan Galapitage, Senior Manager – Sri Lanka & India of George Sourcing Services, were appointed deputy chairmen. Raj David, director – Texus Lanka (Pvt) Ltd was appointed secretary and Manjulla Bahlendran, Finance Director of MAST Far East was appointed treasurer.


However, the aforementioned GSP+ talks commenced in the backdrop of increasing trade between Sri Lanka and the EU region which edged close to US$ 5 billion. At the time, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen expressed optimism over the talks, given the positive response from EU delegation who were here to refer the matter.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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