- Say local market access would enable developing of own brands which can be taken to int’l market later
- Request govt. to revisit policies that restrict access to local market as Lankan consumer deserves better product
- Currently export firms under BOI need to pay Rs.100 per garment or Rs.100 for six pack of garments to supply to local market
- Earlier authorities permitted apparel firms under BOI purview to sell 40% of their production in the domestic market
Sri Lanka’s apparel exporters recently requested the authorities to revisit policies which restrict their access to the local market in order to develop their own brands, which can be later taken into the international market.
“We have to deviate from the present connotation that the local market is available only for rejects or excess. We should be away from that.
“Our desire is not to flood the market but to see the possibility of creating our own brands of this matured industry for potential international markets for which the testing ground could be the domestic market,” Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA) Chairman Rehan Lakhany said.
He was speaking at the Annual General Meeting of SLAEA held in Colombo recently.
At present, Sri Lankan firms operating under the purview of the Board of Investment (BOI) are required to pay Rs.100 per garment or Rs.100 for six packs of garments to supply their products to the local market.
However, the government earlier permitted apparel firms under BOI purview to sell 40 percent of the production in the domestic market to allow local consumers to procure a quality product.
Lakhany pointed out that access to local market is crucial to develop international brands gradually.
Hence, urged the government to relook the policy in relation to the sale of goods manufactured by the export-oriented manufacturers, including sale of goods to the domestic market.
He also opined that local consumers deserve to enjoy quality garment products rather than ejects or excess products. “We have to deviate from the present connotation that the local market is available only for rejects or the excess. We should be away from that. Our products are being appreciated as super quality products produced in an ethical destination.
Surprisingly, the consumers in our country are not being given the opportunity of procuring such goods from our own industrialists or our own factories, and due to historical reasons these restrictions continue,” Lakhany went on to say.