Sri Lanka apparel exports in 5-year record in January 2022 amid war clouds: JAAF

Sri Lanka’s apparel exports of 488 million US dollars in January 2022 has topped the pre-pandemic 452 million US dollars in January 2019 and was the highest in five years, an industry body said.

Sri Lanka’s Join Apparel Association Forum said a strong vaccination drive and safety measures helped keep the sector running and halt Coronavirus infections.

Around 65 percent Sri Lanka’s apparel sector employees have got a booster vaccine and 95 percent have got two doses.

“Through close cooperation between all key stakeholders, the apparel industry can further increase its already-strong contribution to the national economy, as a major generator of vital foreign exchange and high-quality employment,” JAAF secretary general Yohan Lawrence said.

The order book was strong but the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a challenge.

“January’s impressive performance was also made possible by strong demand from buyers and the healthy pipeline of orders for upcoming months, whichare grounds for optimism,” Saif Jafferjee, Managing Director (MD), Lanka Garments (Pvt) Ltd.

“The international outlook remains challenging, however, considering growing tensions in Europe.”

The January exports of 487.6 million US dollars was 23 percent from a year earlier, and 8 percent above 2019.

In the12 months to December 2021, apparel and textile exports were 5,435.1 billion US dollars.

The industry has set a target of 8 billion US dollars for apparel exports by 2030. (Colombo/Mar02/2022)