With Sri Lankan apparel revenues touching $2.4 billion in 1H of 2014 in a new development, Korean Government along with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has extended its support to boost industry capacity in North-and Sri Lanka’s crucial apparel industry training efforts have now expanded to regions for the first time.
KOICA is the main ODAs channel of the Korean Government, its grant aid programs include development assistance for poverty alleviation, economic infrastructure development, capacity building for public sector, support the education sector and provide Technical and Vocational Training. KOICA provides development assistance for 44 countries worldwide.
Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka and Vanni MP on Sunday speaking at the inauguration event of first ever branch of Sri Lanka Institute of Textile & Apparel (SLITA), thanked KOICA and the Government of Korea for the support.
SLITA under Ministry of Industry and Commerce caters to the apparel industry in training, testing, consultancy and technical services and has a world class testing lab which is internationally accredited and is certified with ISO 17025 and 9001 standards.
In 2013, SLITA recorded highest income at $ 1.05 million from training, testing and consultancy services. SLITA also has no less than 185 training programmes with a total trainee strength of 3430. SLITA’s 56 strong lecture panel of which 18 are qualified at Masters’ level is yet another benchmark in the industry.
Sri Lanka January-June 2014 provisional exports recorded the highest 1H earnings since Y2010, and registered $5410.4 million in total. This is a huge 45% jump from H1 2010 which stood at $3741 million. In this five year 1Hs, apparel exports increased by 57%. On a YoY basis, in 2014 1H, provisional apparel revenues surged by 20.40% to $2400.5 million.
The office in Mannar will serve the apparel training needs of Northern Province. This is the first time that SLITA is expanding to the regions. With the assistance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the infrastructure of Northern Province is rapidly developing.
Sri Lankan government has allocated more than $161 million for development of Mannar District. At the same time, demand for new jobs among the Northern people too is growing and there is pressure for new employment generation. Introduction of apparel training is one way that the government is trying to develop the region and also generate new employment.
A batch of 20 trainers, after one month’s training, will start providing training to Mannar youth and new students over a six month period. They will receive today’s apparel technical support. This initiative involves villages of Mannar region at first but will take the training to the rest of Northern Province thereafter. After six months’ training, the trained will be given sewing machines so that they can start production soon.
Next year they will be officially request Mannar Divisional Secretary for land allocation for a sewing training plant to be constructed. In this Mannar initiative, the Korea International Cooperation Agency has donated equipment to the value of $20,000 -that includes 13 JUKI sewing machines, industrial grade cutting machine and vacuum board, a bottle iron, furniture and computers.
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