Sri Lanka apparel exporter says US demand to be strong

Mar 09, 2012 (LBO) – Demand from the United States for apparels would be strong this year, though Europe may be weak and domestic conditions in China, a key competitor favoured Sri Lanka, a top industry official said. Competitive currency depreciation began during the great depression and was institutionalized as a policy tool partly after the interventionist administration of Franklin Roosevelt depreciated the US currency from 20 to an ounce of gold to 35.

Amalean said Europe is expected to be stagnant, but exporters had done well despite the loss of trade preferences.

In 2011 Sri Lanka’s apparel exports rose 24.6 percent to 4.2 billion rupees, while exports overall rose 22.4 percent to 10.4 billion rupees.

Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board has said that exports to the US, which make up 20 percent of the total, rose 26 percent. Exports to the UK, which made up 11 percent of the total, rose 12.4 percent.

The European Union took up 34 percent of all exports.

“I am of the view that the American market is beginning to pick up,” Mahesh Amalean, head of MAS Holdings, a top apparel exporting group said.

“There is labor shortage in China, in the areas where appeals are manufactured.”