The United States imports garments to the value
of US $ 200 billion annually and Sri Lanka exports
less than 1% to the United States. Sri Lanka's
annual garment exports to the US is valued around
US $ 1.9 million.
According to Executive Director, American Chamber
of Commerce (AMCHAM) Maria Rajanayagam, Sri
Lankan garments have a high value in the American
society since the public know that Sri Lankan
products are of high quality and the retailers
know that the error rate in Sri Lanka garments
is very low. She said that another significant
factor that the US public takes into account
with regard to the Sri Lankan garments is that
local garments are manufactured under high labour
laws and that no child labour is used to produce
Rajanayagam said that with the garment quota
system ending in 2005 and the multi fibre agreement
between the US and Europe, there would be stiff
competition among manufacturers and countries
such as China would benefit from it. "The
advantage China has over other countries is
their cheap labour. However many say that the
quality of some of their products is not as
good as Sri Lankan products."
She said that Sri Lanka's garment industry
can make a big impact on the US if they market
it themselves and added that the world's largest
garment exhibition which will be held from August
25 to 28 in Las Vegas would be the ideal venue
for this. "This event would give Sri Lankan
companies the ideal exposure to find new buyers."
She said that the US Embassy will provide all
assistance for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs to take
part in this event.
President, SUMMIT Corporation and Sri Lankan representative
for the MAGIC show Hiran Jayasinghe said that
93% of US garment suppliers buy their products
through contacts made at the MAGIC show. He said
that China has realised the importance of this
event and has increased their participation on
each occasion. "Last year China had taken
only three booths but at the last August exhibition
they had increased their participation to 108
and this year China had reserved 300 stalls. They
are expected to take 1,000 stalls for the next
said that the participation from the SAARC region
too has increased and India, Bangladesh and Nepal
has reserved 58, 11 and 5 booths respectively.
Jayasinghe said that Bangladesh participated in
this event for the first time and they managed
to secure deals to the value of US $ one million.
"During the last exhibition in February trade
deals to the value of over US $ 60 billion were
initiated at the exhibition."
He said that over 100,000 buyers
from 110 countries, 7,000 exhibitors and 33,000
departmental stores representing stalls will take
part in the MAGIC event this August. Jayasinghe
started his own IT company in Beverly Hills, California
in the early 1990's.
He was the Founder, President
and the only Sri Lankan at the Junior Chamber
of Commerce in Beverly Hills. He was also advisor
for Michael Jackson Productions, Penthouse Publications
and aerospace and entertainment companies in USA.
In 1999, he set up his branch office under the
name SUMMIT Corporation (Pvt.) Ltd., in Sri Lanka.
More details could be obtained from the MAGIC
website MAGICtradeshow.us or e-mail Hiran@MAGICtradeshow.us
He said that that 52% of the
buyers who would be attending the MAGIC event
are Vice Presidents of their companies and 93%
of them look for new buyers.