Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena
Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on Friday assured the garment industry of government assistance for the expansion and diversification of the industry, which is one of the most prosperous and promising export sectors. , vital to the country’s economy.
This assurance was given when a high-level delegation from the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) called the Prime Minister. Gunawardena praised the apparel industry for showing substantial growth in exports despite the challenges faced due to the local and international economic downturn. Apparel exports in the first seven months rose 20% to $3.5 billion.
JAAF Chairman Sharad Amalean explained the issues regarding some customs duties, freight forwarding charges, energy and transportation issues and urged the government to step in to resolve them so that they can compete with other countries to gain more market access and bring in much-needed foreign exchange. country.
The Prime Minister assured them that the government would rationalize the facilities accorded to this important industry and urged garment exporters to seek more foreign investment for their expansion and diversification.
He also urged them to explore opportunities to venture into new spheres such as fish exports as there is good demand overseas. He also asked them to consider the expansion of solar power and other alternative renewable energy sources.
He underscored the need to protect small and medium-sized garment industries as some of them face more difficulties than mega-industries and they are a vital component of the rural economy.
Prime Minister Gunawardena expressed his gratitude to the industry, which set an example for other export industries. He said that the next few months will be critical and that the government is seeking more support from all export sectors to take all possible measures to increase exports, as this would be the only possible way to reduce the trade deficit and revive the economy.
Prime Minister’s Secretary Anura Dissanayake, Deputy Secretary Mahinda Gunaratne and JAAF representatives Saif Jafferjee, Felix Fernando, Aroon Hirdarmani, Hasib Omar, Hemantha Perera and Yohan Lawrence also participated in this discussion.