COLOMBO: Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) President Ajith Dias has said that the apparel industry was not experiencing a downward trend but seeing a robust growth opening up new opportunities for the sector.
He was speaking at the launch of The Sri Lanka apparel marketers’ alumni’s (SLAMA) website “www.srilankaama.com” at the alumni’s second get-together on Friday.
The SLAMA website which was launched by MAS Holdings chairman Mr.Maheash Amalean and JAAF President Mr. Dias entails information on programs available for apparel marketers, a data base for apparel marketers and other useful information about the industry.
The apparel marketers’ alumni aspires to support, promote and create more apparel marketers in Sri Lanka have the ambitious hope of producing 250 apparel marketers by 2010 under a program launched by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) UK together with JAAF.
The program has so far been able to produce more than 100 qualified apparel marketers. The aim is to transform the 400 or so garment factories from contract manufactures to total solution providers, streamline the bottlenecks and ensure that the industry stays developed.
There is stiff competition from countries like, India, China, Vietnam and Bangladesh. The Sri Lankan garment industry has grown in leaps and bounds with time. The country which entered into the industry as mere tailors has now become an important player in the supply chain management.
The industry’s immediate goals are adapting to the growing trends of sophisticated customers, dealing with price compression, creating a high demand for ethical manufacturing and innovation.
As a solution the apparel stalwarts propose measures to introduce a total supply chain with low cost vertically integrated apparel parks, comprising of speed, flexibility, the right cost, innovation and convenience.
The Sri Lankan apparel sector contributes 8% to the country’s GDP and is ranked 13th in the list of top apparel exporters to the US.