exports from Sri Lanka to the United States have
reduced by great volumes and with the quota system
ending in 2005 this would be a major problem.
Chairman, Summit Corporation,
Hiran Jayasinghe who is based in USA said that
according to 'Trade data on US imports and exports
of textiles and apparel major shippers report'
dated August 2003, China shows a improvement
of 40.36% and India 13.23%. "Sri Lanka's
loss for this year was 4.95%."
The value of Apparel exports was
839 million dollars last year. This year it
is only US $ 457 million.
He said that this is mainly due
to lack of promotions from Sri Lanka. "China
is doing major promotions in the garment trade
and even poorer countries such as Bangladesh
too are participating in major trade shows."
In contrast over 30 exhibitors
each from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan have
been attending this event regularly. He said
that at the last exhibition in Las Vegas a Bangladesh
buyer was able to secure a trade deal to the
value of US 30 million dollars. "This is
only one instance."
He said that in contrast Sri Lanka
is very lethargic in this area and have never
taken part in the world's largest Apparel exhibition
MAGIC in USA since its inception 71 years ago.
He said that MAGIC is the only Apparel Trade
show accepted by US Department of Commerce and
has over 85,000 buyers with buying power of
US$ 85 Billion and 79% of them leave Purchase
He said that in 2002 China had
taken nine stalls and for the last exhibition
in August this number has increased to 230.
"For the next February Trade show there
will be 600 stalls to be taken by China."
He said any company could take
part in this exhibition and they are sure to
find buyers since 80% of the buyers in USA are
top decision-makers of their companies.
"We have over 3,250 exhibitors
who produce over 5,500 well-known brands name
apparel products. The MAGIC Marketplace is an
international apparel community and attracts
over 850,000 industry professional twice a year
creating this phenomenal marketplace. We fill
the two largest convention centres in Las Vegas.
Our show in general is over 850,000 square feet;
we have over 3,200 exhibitors. Our buying community
has grown to over 85,000 from 80 countries.
They come to Las Vegas for the MAGIC Show,"
He said that they could be contacted
on their e-mail Hiran@MAGICtradeshow.us
The MAGIC Show is the largest
and most comprehensive apparel market in the
world, attracting an average of 80,000 attendees,
more than 2,800 exhibitors and 21,000 product
lines. The Show includes products for men, women
and children, as well as a line highlighting
the cutting edge of fashion trends. All fees
are waived for international attendees who arrive
with a delegation. Free educational seminars
are offered on business topics including retailing,
forecasting and marketing, trends, colour and
visual merchandising and technology.
USA is Sri Lanka's largest export
market which absorbed US$ 1.9 Billion worth
of exports that accounted for 41% Sri Lanka's
total exports in 2001. Sri Lanka's key exports
to USA in 2001 were garments (81% of exports
to USA amounting to US$ 1.5 billion), leather
articles/bags nearly 5% of exports amounting
to US $ 105 million and rubber 3% exports amounting
to US $69 million.
For garments, USA is the key market
accounting for 64% of Sri Lanka garments exported
in 2001. Sri Lanka is the 16th largest garment
supplier to USA accounting for 2.7% of US garments
imports from the world. Currently, the USA is
the 5th largest import source for Sri Lanka
accounting for 4.9% of overall imports to the
country. Key import items from the US are Wheat,
Mesline and Tobacco.
the fact that the garment sector is the largest
net foreign exchange earner to the nation and
recruits nearly 280,000 in approximately 5,000
industries. In neighbouring countries, its future
in the post - 2005 period (with the abolition
of Multi Fibre Agreement) is of particular concern
to the government and industry.
Time has come to
diversify business into other areas such as gems
and jewellery, ceramics, IT industry and tourism.
Sri Lanka is not just the world's 8th largest
source of natural rubber; it also produces the
world's best crepe rubber.
Sri Lanka for over
two decades has followed free market policies
and has evolved into a business-friendly environment
favourable for investment and economic growth.
Over the years, successive governments have continued
to liberalise many areas of the economy to pave
the way for international investment.
As a result, Sri
Lanka remains one of the most attractive investment
destinations in the Asia-Pacific region. Total
foreign ownership is permitted across virtually
all areas of the economy. There is no repatriation
of earnings, fees and capital and on foreign exchange
transactions relating to current account payments.
The safety of foreign investment is guaranteed
by the Constitution. Generous tax incentives and
a sophisticated legal and regulatory framework
exists, covering for example, intellectual property,
settlement of disputes through arbitration, company
American investment in Sri Lanka
dates back to the 1960s when US companies sought
access to new markets, such as pharmaceuticals,
chemicals and batteries. Foreign investment from
America has steadily increased over the past few
present, there are around 100 US based companies
(including Fortune 500 companies) operating in
Sri Lanka with an investment of over US $ 500
million. These companies are involved in diverse
projects ranging from manufacturing activities
(food/agro-processing, animal feed mills, pharmaceuticals,
ceramic tiles, garment accessories, integrated
textile plants, lingerie, essential oils, computer
parts, garments, telecommunication systems, electronics
and electrical power systems, chemical products
and batteries) to service-oriented activities
(financial services, power generation, the blending
and marketing of lubricants, pay phones and telecommunication
services, training institutes and computer software
Sri Lanka's well
trained skilled, literate and inexpensive workforce
in labour, technical and professional grades,
existing training programs, competitive wage structures
and business friendly labour practices are a major
premia for investors.
US can also fulfil
its regional goals of economic development and
stability in South Asia. The USA can reach some
parts of the large 1.3 Billion mass market of
South Asia Via Sri Lanka. US products after fulfilling
the required Rules of Origin can gain duty free
access to the Indo-Sri Lanka bilateral Free Trade
Agreement and preferential access the Pakistani
market via the proposed Pakistani-Sri Lanka Free
Already, South Asia
is a large market for USA with US $ 4.6 billion
exports. This amount could be increased to East
Asia's level of US $ 104 billion (figure for the
year 2000) in the future with ready market access
to South Asia for which Sri Lanka provides that