As a point of reference it is worth noting that as of 2012 in the league of apparel exporters, Sri Lanka did not rank in the top ten and Cambodia rounded off the 10th with a $4.29B export with even the USA higher at $5.61B. The FT July 2nd 2014 link is below with the data. Cambodia in fact was far behind us and is racing ahead of us in this as well as Tourism, and it is time we take a leaf out of their book to see what it is they offer we don't!
Further in 2013 our apparel export total was $4.26B, and that is gross sales, as there are considerable imported inputs that go into it and so is NOT value added. This should be compared with a near US$10B of inward remittances from migrant workers overseas which is pure dividends into the Country, going direct to a million families amounting to a direct benefit of over 5 million people, to say nothing of the multiplier effect of indirect benefit of employment and industry.
Coincidentally both these facts were on the same page of today’s FT on page 10.
Granted Sri Lanka is aiming to export high value apparel, due to the fact that wages relative to those in Bangladesh, where Sri Lankan companies are now opening up factories, are much higher here.
Much is said that our relative level of exports are falling precipitously and our Balance of trade is in huge deficit. This is propped up purely due to the remittances. I have said time and time again, and none in Govt. appears to admit that, but for the bad governance our growth rate would be even higher.
I was as usual appalled that in today’s (2nd July Lankadeepa, page 4) the Governor of the Central Bank attributes all the growth to Govt. policies, when I challenge that none of their policies would have been worth a hill of beans, because during his tenure alone at the helm of the Central Bank remittances amounted to a staggering US$50B and that is why, with all his external borrowings we have reserves of US$9B which he takes credit as being great! He would not even be walking the streets of Colombo in his underwear had this great freebie not come to Sri Lanka from our hard working citizens abroad. We MUST give credit where it is due, and not permit him to gloat over his performance and that of the Govt. and get away with hoodwinking the hapless population.