Is Sri Lanka’s garment industry grinding to a halt?
About 20% of Sri Lanka’s large-scale garment factories have decided to close for three months after the December holidays, says Dhammika Fernando, president of the Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association.
He added that about 50% of the small and medium-scale factories have already been closed. He further said that investors’ income in the apparel industry has fallen by 25% due to increased costs and a fall in orders. Against this background, many local investors are looking at the possibility of investing in other countries.
Meanwhile, some investors are reported to have taken measures to compensate and lay off workers, and about 10% of large companies have done so. It is also said that some company owners have asked their employees to stay home while partially or fully paying their salaries.
Dhammika Fernando says that some factories are open only 04 days a week. He further states that Sri Lankan garment exporters cannot compete with other countries regarding cost.
Experts in the field point out that apart from the woes mentioned above, being unable to get a suitable price for their products has also affected the income level.