“Ready-Made Garment Industry in Sri Lanka: Facing the Global Challenge”

Research team

Saman Kelegama
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Published Year

June 2004


US $ 25 (for hardcopy)

The Sri Lanka garment industry has experienced phenomenal growth during the past twenty-five years and has emerged as a major sector of the economy in terms of its contribution to industrial production, foreign exchange earnings and employment generation. While the industry has been subject to much discussion and debate, there has not been any comprehensive publication regarding vital aspects of the industry. At a time when the garment industry is undergoing changes to face a challenging global environment particularly with the dismantling of the quota regime, this book highlights the key areas of the industry and fills the existing void in the literature.

The book consists of a selection of essays written in recent years by eminent specialists in the field. Supported by extensive statistical data, the book includes research papers that cover vital areas of policy issues and concerns in the context of the Sri Lanka garment industry such as productivity, forward and backward linkages, the effects of new WTO Agreements, the emerging challenges of the global environment and possible impacts on the Sri Lankan garment industry.

The material in this book will be of vital interest and importance not only to policy makers and the government but also to academics as well as to those actively engaged and working in the industry.

Table of Contents

• Preface

• Part I. Introduction
Preview, Purpose, and Scope, Saman Kelegama Overview of the Garment Industry in Sri
Lanka , Saman Kelegama and Janaka Wijayasiri

• Part II. Issues on Competitiveness Competitive Strength of the Garment Industry and
Planning Process at the Firm Level, Tilak Fonseka and Dilini Fonseka
Labour Productivity and Job Quality in the Garment Industry, Saman Kelegama and
Roshen Epaarachchi

• Part III. Backward and Forward Integration: Problems and Prospects Impediments to
Promoting Backward Linkages from the GarmentIndustry, Saman Kelegama and Fritz Foley
Forward Integration and Supply Capacity of the Garment Industry, Tilak Fonseka

• Part IV. External Trading Environment: Regional and Bilateral Trading Arrangements and
their Impact Risks for the Garment Industry from NAFTA, Saman Kelegama
Indo-Sri Lanka Bilateral Free Trade Agreement and the Garment Industry,
Saman Kelegama and Janaka Wijayasiri
A Possible US-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement to Support the Garment Industry ?,
Saman Kelegama

• Part V. External Trading Environment: Emergence of China and WTO Agreement on Textiles
and Clothing
Emergence of China as a Major Garment Supplier and its Impact, Saman Kelegama and Shan
WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing: Implications for the Garment Industry , Dushni
Weerakoon and Janaka Wijayasiri
Reviews and Highlights in the media

“Ready-Made Garment Industry in Sri Lanka: Facing the Global Challenge”

The Sunday Times, 3 April, 2005 – The Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry in
Sri Lanka accounts for over half of our export earnings and of a third of
the country’s employment in the manufacturing sector.

Download the news article >> (JPG Format 202KB )

“Sri Lankan Textiles: Mitigating Global Challenges”

Trade Insights, Vol.1 No.1, February 2005 – With so many dimensions of the RMG
trading environment analysed, this book can be a useful guide for conducting
similar analyses in other economies.

Download the news article >> (JPG Format 198KB )

“Pragmatic advice for garment industry”

Daily News, 24 September, 2004

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“End of MFA- Challenge for apparel exporters”

Sunday Observer, 22 August, 2004 – The MFA – Multi Fibre Agreement under
which Sri Lanka’s export apparel industry thrived on has less than 150 days to
continue and what would happen to this all-important industry when the apparel
market goes global”.

Download the news article >> (JPG Format 222KB )

“More research needed in garments industry”

Sunday Times, 15 August, 2004 – “One of the features of the Sri Lankan policy
making is the non inclusion of research studies which bear on critical policy issues
an din that context the book ‘Ready-made Garment industry in Sri Lanka: Facing the
Global Challenge’, written by Dr. Saman Kelegama is one very useful and important,”
said Finance Minister, Dr. Sarath Amunugama speaking at the recent book launch.

Download the news article >> (JPG Format 167KB )

“Facing the global challenge for apparel: It is in the book”

Daily News, 11 August, 2004 – A book analysing the current status of the local
ready-made garment industry, “Ready-Made Garment Industry in Sri Lanka: Facing the
Global Challenge” authored by top economist Dr. Saman Kelegama was launched recently.

Download the news article >> (JPG Format 226KB )

“Book Launch: Ready-Made Garment Industry in Sri Lanka: Facing the Global Challenge”

Sunday Island, 8 August, 2004

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“Book Launch”

Sunday Times, 8 August, 2004 – A book on “Ready-Made Garment Industry in Sri Lanka:
Facing the Global Challenge” edited by Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the
Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and published by the IPS was launched in Colombo last week.

Download the news article >> (JPG Format 104KB )

“Ready made garment industry in Lanka: facing the global challenge launched”

The Island, 5 August, 2004 – With the Sri Lankan economy heavily dependent on the ready made
garment industry and the quota system being dismantled an understanding of the global challenge
has become a sine-qua-non.

Download the news article >> (JPG Format 158KB )