The local Apparel Export industry, amid the COVID-19 outbreak is hopeful that more opportunities could open up for the Sri Lankan industry as the apparel supply chain seeks to be less reliant on China as a source for apparel.
Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association Chairman Rehan Lakhany told Daily News Finance that one of the opportunities that arose with this pandemic situation is to move into the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In the short term there is a large demand for any type of PPE products and many companies have started up with the supply of non-medical PPE products.
Whilst this will help the industry in the short term it’s unlikely to be something that develops in the longer term, as this is a commodity item produced in mass volumes all over the world. There are many enquiries for medical PPE such as gloves and masks however currently there are limitation on imports of these raw materials as most countries that produce this raw material are focusing on their domestic requirements.
Dialog Axiata PLC, one of Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider has extended an exclusive Cash Back offer to over 15 million of its customers who reload/pay bills via the MyDialog app, further promoting the use of digital channels.
Customers who save their debit/credit card details on the MyDialog app, after successfully verifying via an automated test transaction, are entitled to receive a 100% Cash Back on the first reload/bill payment made via the MyDialog App.
Customers can receive a maximum Cash Back till June 14. The payment or reload can be made to any Mobile, DTV and LTE connection and there is no minimum amount required on any payment/reload.
Sri Lanka merchandize export earnings have recorded a historical decrease by nearly 64% to US $ 277.4 million from US $ 772.57 million documented in April 2019 according to Customs monthly provisional exports statistics,.
Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Prabhash Subasinghe mentioned, “It is understood that we are witnessing a decline in exports during the month of April 2020 which is mainly caused by the shutdown of many operations due to the prevailing COVID 19 crisis and also to the fact that the Sri Lankan Government taking strict measures in controlling the situation.”
“Furthermore, the overall results from Jan to April also reflects a decline in global demand of goods due to the global economic impact caused by the prevailing Pandemic situation in the world. EDB is taking continuous measures and working closely with the exporters to resolve their ongoing issues as well as finding new markets and new products to meet the current market needs created by Covid 19.”
Apparel sector has shown a sharp decline (-82%) during the month of April 2020 compared to the same month in the previous year. Other selected sectors that has recorded a significant decline during the same period includes; Tea (-21%), Coconut products (-35.2%), Rubber Products (-53%), Food & Beverages (-44%), Spices (-24%), Electronics & Electronic Components (-63%), Petroleum Products (-63%), Seafood (-72%) and Base Metal Products (-49%).