(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says the government, recognizing the current challenges faced by the garment industry, is ready to extend its fullest support to enhance the industry’s productivity and quality and action will be taken for that through a planned program.
The President made this observation at a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat Yesterday morning (15) with representatives of the Joint Apparel Association Forum Sri Lanka (JAAFSL).
The President noted that the apparel sector is one of the leading export oriented industries In Sri Lanka. It also has the potential to make Sri Lanka a world-renowned brand for high quality apparel. A large amount of foreign exchange could be earned by creating a new revival in the local apparel sector, he pointed out.
While the government is keen to achieve the targets, the expected target for this year is $ 5.1 billion. The businessmen assured the President that they would be committed to achieving the targets.
Entrepreneurs also explained the challenges faced by the industry due to health recommendations. It was proposed to look into the possibility of relaxing certain health recommendations related to the garment sector without affecting the public health of the country.
The President also drew attention to the shortage of human resources in the sector and pointed out that the creation of quality and secure employment opportunities could attract young people to the sector.
There was also talk of extending the investor visa period and adopting a relaxed policy in issuing visas.
Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, State Ministers Sudarshini Fernandopulle, Channa Jayasumana, Secretary to the President PB Jayasundera, Governor of the Central Bank Prof. W.D. Lakshman, Chairman of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Sanjaya Mohottala, Secretaries to line ministries and government officials, Ashraff Omar, Chairman of the Joint Apparel Associations Forum and other members were also present.