Dr. Amila Kankanamge
Expressing his views on Britain leaving the European Union (EU), the President of Colombo Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Amila Kankanamge said such incidents happen in the world from time-to-time and are not factors that have a large impact on the Sri Lankan economy.
“What is important is to develop a strong local economy that is not vulnerable to changes caused by international incidents. This can be only achieved through the empowerment of the Sri Lankan business community.”
“It is true that Europe is one of the major importers of Sri Lankan apparels. However this does not imply that our national economic model should be created based on European political and economic factors.
Clothing is a basic human necessity. Thus a large number of countries around the world produce and buy apparels. Nevertheless if we can maintain a good quality in the apparels produced locally, Sri Lanka would not lose its position in the global market. “It is also important to constantly monitor the market behavior of essential goods and issue our goods to the market based on the observations made. Furthermore it is essential to develop a second market place for our products. If a crisis occurs in the main market, goods could be sold through this alternative market until the situation is resolved. The apparel industry represents about 40 percent of the country’s national economy. It also represents a large proportion of the local workforce. Therefore the government should take necessary steps required to further strengthen this industry. Especially, the local market should be improved so as to provide more opportunities to local producers.
Although Sri Lanka has a number high quality apparel production companies, foreign apparels that lack quality have invaded the local market. Thus there also needs to be a plan that can create a greater scope for local apparel products in the regional market place. Moreover such plans should not be restricted to the apparel industry alone as it is a solution to one of the most common problems faced by all local industries alike.
“The local government should implement the aforementioned changes throughout all industries of the country. It is my belief that our national income will remain unaffected by international economic and political changes if we are able to develop an effective program that can protect the local business community. Furthermore we should have a proper methodology to monitor the behavior of the international marketplace so that we could issue our local products for sale accordingly,” he added. Colombo Chamber of Commerce is a major business chamber in Sri Lanka that operates in the main commercial district of the country, representing a large number of small and medium-sized entrepreneur