January 2022 recorded Sri Lankan apparel exports’ highest earnings figures for the month of January in 5 years.
Earnings rose from $452 million in January 2019 to $487.6 million in January 2022, eclipsing pre-pandemic earnings with a growth of 8%. Compared to export earnings reported in January 2021, the figure shows a growth of 23%. Earnings growth reflects the sector’s underlying strength and resilience, as it makes its way back to the top after sustained shocks from the impact of the pandemic over the last couple of years.
Solid performance figures reported in January 2022 shines a green light on the industry’s vision to transform Sri Lanka into a global apparel hub by the year 2030 while increasing annual earnings to $8 billion by the year 2025. “Amidst significant turbulence, this strong performance is testimony to the resilience of Sri Lanka’s apparel industry and augurs well for the industry’s progress towards realizing its goals for 2025,” said Yohan Lawrence, Secretary-General, Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), the apex body of the Sri Lankan apparel industry.
Several key factors have contributed to the stellar performance reported by the industry in January. Principal among them is adherence to strict health and safety measures. Keeping in line with the national vaccination drive, 65% of apparel sector employees have received a booster dose and 2 other doses, while 95% of employees have received 2 doses.
Along with health and safety measures, the recent performance also reflects the success of strategies adopted such as digital product development technology, which helped mitigate supply chain disruptions. Here, larger firms supported smaller firms, therefore collaborating with them to meet the export order rush. Solid performance figures were also made possible by strong demand for the industry. “January’s impressive performance was also made possible by strong demand from buyers and the healthy pipeline of orders for upcoming months, which are grounds for optimism,” stated Saif Jafferjee, Managing Director, Lanka Garments (Pvt) Ltd. “The international outlook remains challenging, however, considering growing tensions in Europe.”, Jafferjee added.
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