As the pandemic has significantly affected Sri Lanka’s tourism, the State Minister of Batik, Handloom, and Local Apparel Production Dayasiri Jayasekara plans to introduce several groundbreaking initiatives to revamp the state-owned Laksala and Salusala entities.
The state minister’s plan calls for Laksala to adopt an overseas franchise store concept, and Laksala has already signed several franchise agreements. Laksala signed its first overseas franchise agreement in July with Boom Lanka Batik & Gifts LLC, USA. Laksala also signed a deal with Sala Global, Dubai. The minister also elaborated on his hopes of franchising Salusala with cabinet support under the public-private partnership model.
According to the minister, Sri Lanka spends around $100-$150 million annually importing cheap brands despite producing world-class clothing of its own. This has unfortunately made Sri Lanka a sort of dumpster for cheap brands and off-season clothing. Following the initial franchise agreements, the minister hopes to sign several more agreements in Japan, the UK, Australia, Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, and China.
The minister also stated that he hopes to create an online database of artisans and their products to expand Sri Lanka’s apparel reach to entities like Amazon and Alibaba, cementing Sri Lanka’s identity as a world-class apparel producer.
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