President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that the Government, which is well aware of the challenges faced by the local apparel industry, is ready to extend its fullest support to enhance its productivity and quality.
“We will follow a well-planned strategy to reach this objective,” the President added.
The President made these remarks at a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday, March 15, with representatives of the Joint Apparel Association Forum.
In Sri Lanka, the apparel sector is one of the leading export industries. Sri Lankan apparels have become a world-renowned brand name among all other globally recognised apparel manufacturers.
The President highlighted that a large sum of foreign exchange could be earned by reviving the local apparel industry.
The Government is enthusiastic to meet the targets, and this year the Government expects an income of $ 5.1 billion. The businessmen assured the President that they are committed in achieving these goals.
Entrepreneurs explained the challenges before them in the industry due to health guidelines imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was proposed during the discussion to look into the possibility of relaxing certain health guidelines imposed on the garment sector without affecting the public health condition of the country.
The President also paid attention to the shortage of human resources in the industry and stressed that generating quality and secure employment opportunities could conveniently attract youths to the sector.
Extension of visa validity period for the potential investors and adopting a relaxed policy in issuing visas were discussed during the meeting.
Ministers – Dinesh Gunawardena, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, State Ministers – Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Channa Jayasumana, Secretary to the President – P. B. Jayasundera, Governor of the Central Bank – Prof. W. D. Lakshman, Chairman of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka – Sanjaya Mohottala, Secretaries to the Line Ministries and Government Officials, Ashroff Omar – Chairman of the Joint Apparel Associations Forum and several other members were present at the discussion.