The Free Trade Zone Manufacturers’ Association (FTZMA), one of the largest manufacturing associations in Sri Lanka’s largest free trade zone in Katunayake yesterday said the current political crisis is having implications on the future order books of its members.
FTZMA membership is made up of mainly large multinational companies with principals from the US, UK, European Union and several other countries.
The zone employs roughly 45,000 workers and has over 52 organizations which operate 80 plants within the zone.
“Since the crisis started on October 26, we have had many concerned inquiries from our customers and other stakeholders both local and international regarding the present political situation in the country.
“The image portrayed especially in the West has been extremely negative both in the print as well as digital media. Being one of the oldest democracies in the world, this has been debilitating and shameful especially some of the recent incidents that took place in parliament.
“This has had implications for most of the future order books of our members as well as the potential of losing GSP Plus for exports to the EU,” FTZMA said in a brief statement.
The industry association also said they were “extremely disturbed and disappointed” with the behaviour of all political parties in not reaching a consensus to the political flux.
Hence, FTZMA urged the Sri Lankan political leadership who are at loggerheads to put the country first rather than their personal agendas.
“While it is important to preserve the sovereignty of our country, we must also accept the fact that we are operating on a global platform which is highly interconnected and transparent to our end customers and consumers.
“Upholding the constitution, law and order, consistent policy making, and political and economic stability are key to growing our businesses and attracting further FDIs,” FTZMA added.