Sri Lanka has attracted over $500 millionworth of orders for the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), according to its Board of Investment (BOI), whose director general Sanjaya Mohottala recently expressed confidence that the value will top $1 billion in future. He acknowledged the apparel industry suffered due to inadequate raw material supply.

Because of the pandemic, it will be tough for most people to buy expensive garments, and therefore, they will opt for more sustainable re-useable garments, he said. He urged apparel exporters and manufacturers to reflect on alternative products, methods and markets because of the crisis.

BOI has expedited work in setting up the proposed fabric park in Eravur to manufacture raw material needed for the apparel industry, he said. “We have already had discussions with potential investors from several countries and received favourable responses,” Mohottala added.

The fabric park will produce both artificial and natural textile needed for the apparel industry.

Sri Lanka’s total export earnings for 2019 was $11.9 billion, out of which $5.7 billion was generated from apparel exports.