Definition and scale of sector
Why the sector was chosen in the West Midlands
The Sri Lankan Apparel Industry constitutes of 830 registered enterprises in operation. In 2001, the top 25 manufactures managed 38.35% of the value of exports. As a result, there is a high concentration of the apparel business in the large enterprises. Sri Lanka's main export markets are the US, EU and Canada.
The revenue from apparel exports has demonstrated a sustained increase over the last 20 years, reaching its peak in year 2000 at US$ 2,710.69 Mn. As Sri Lanka's largest export industry the apparel sector has considerable potential for development. The opportunity/potential is based on the following facts. Although currently customers develop most of the design specification, a few Sri Lankan enterprises have developed their capabilities to match international design standards. The potential therefore exists for Sri Lanka to become a total service provider for the global apparel industry.
Sri Lanka's Competitive Advantages in the Garment Sector
Geological opinion estimated 90% of Sri Lanka as being potential gem bearing land. There are 5 major gem-producing areas in Sri Lanka with Ratnapura (the "City of Gems") being the traditional gem-mining region. The gem-bearing belt is approximately 80 miles long and 20 miles wide, and lies south-west of the central hills. Apart from this main belt of production, there are also gem-producing areas in several other parts of the country.
The ceramic industry has been in existence in Sri Lanka for many centuries. Today this sector has been identified as a "thrust industry" to be nurtured and developed by the state. Presently, a wide variety of ceramic products are manufactured and exported including traditional tableware, sanitary ware, floor and wall tiles, ornamental ware, and insulators. Ceramic products from Sri Lanka are exported to the USA, UK, Spain, Japan, South Africa, Germany, Dubai etc.
Sri Lanka is the world's 9th largest producer and the 10th largest exporter of natural rubber (NR). It is also the major supplier of high quality latex crepe to the world market and the world's largest manufacturer and exporter of solid tyres for off-road-vehicles. Nearly 60% of the NR production in Sri Lanka is used for value added rubber products. The bulk of these value-added products are for the export market. Foreign investors from 20 countries have set up lucrative and long standing world class ventures under BOI approval. The 59 BOI approved rubber industry projects consume nearly 75% of Sri Lanka's total domestic NR production.
The government of Sri Lanka has given the highest priority for the development and promotion of the electronics sector, which has also been identified as a thrust industry since 1995 to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Under the thrust industry scheme, companies investing in the electronics industry are offered a package of attractive incentives and concessions.
Studies undertaken in Sri Lanka show that the local light engineering industry compares well internationally for both its efficiency and competitiveness. The island exports products such as precision tools, moulds and electrical enclosures and manufactures high quality water pumps and agriculture machinery for the local market.There are several investment opportunities in the manufacture of products such as fans, room air conditioners, refrigerators, small engines and metal furniture. Investments can also be made in fabrication subcontracting for many products.
Source: Board of Investment Sri Lanka
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