July 08, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka needs to develop a strong local economy that is not vulnerable to changes caused by international incidents, president of Colombo Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Amila Kankanamge said expressing his views on Britain leaving the European Union.
Even though Brexit may not have a large impact on the Sri Lankan economy, the island nation should empower the local business community further through an effective program, Kankanamge said.
“It is true that Europe is one of the major importers of Sri Lankan apparels,” Kankanamge, who heads the chamber which represents a large number of small and medium sized entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka, said.
“However this does not imply that our national economic model should be created based on European political and economic factors.”
Kankanamge said since clothing is a basic human necessity, a large number of countries around the world produce and buy apparels.
“Nevertheless if we can maintain a good quality in the apparels produced locally, Sri Lanka would not lose its position in the global market,”
“It is also important to constantly monitor the market behavior of essential goods and issue our goods to the market based on the observations made.”
He said it is essential to develop a second market place for our products and if a crisis occurs in the main market, goods could be sold through this alternative market until the situation is resolved.
The apparel industry represents about 40 percent of the country’s national economy and also represents a large proportion of the local workforce.
Kankanamge said even though Sri Lanka has a number of high quality apparel production companies, foreign apparels that lack quality have invaded the local market.
“There also needs to be a plan that can create a greater scope for local apparel products in the regional market place,”
“Such plans should not be restricted to the apparel industry alone as it is a solution to one of the most common problems faced by all local industries alike.”
He further pointed out that Sri Lanka should have a proper methodology to monitor the behavior of the international marketplace so that the country could issue local products for sale accordingly.