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UK-SL commercial ties growing strong

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-02-10 10:20:00 – Sri Lanka

With the inauguration of the Intertek ISO 17025 NABL-approved Textile and Apparel Testing Laboratory in Battaramulla, the relationship between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka growing strong. John Rankin, British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka on Thursday, February 6 at a ceremony said that the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka have a very strong and growing commercial relationship.

There are over 100 UK companies operating successfully in Sri Lanka and growing their businesses, the High Commissioner said that the British come to Sri Lanka because of the skills, the high literacy rate, the good IT skills and good labour conditions. Sri Lankan goods are in much demand in UK. The European Union is Sri Lanka’s largest export market as a whole and within the European Union, the United Kingdom is the largest purchaser of Sri Lankan goods and products. And foremost among those products are those from the apparel sector.

The British companies have continued to buy from Sri Lanka because of the very high quality of goods. To give just one example, Marks and Spencer continue to buy over 20 per cent of all their garments from Sri Lanka and given that company’s commitment to quality of production and good labour conditions that is testament to that sector here within Sri Lanka.

The High Commissioner said that he was particularly delighted to be here because of the link between Intertek of UK and MMBL Pathfinder and the joint venture which is being celebrated this evening. Intertek had been in Sri Lanka for the last 15 years employing over 550 local people, he noted and added that the joint venture not only creates local jobs but also creates profitability both in Sri Lanka and the UK.

Addressing the inauguration as the chief guest, Faizer Mustapha, Deputy Minister of Investment Promotion said that the joint venture between the Intertek Gourp and the Pathfinder Group of Companies would help the garment industry, the second largest industry bringing in US$ 4 billion annually. Today, they manufacture quality garments and their industry is capable of taking any challenges. Most industries ask for incentives, but the garment and apparel industry has always contributed to the economy and this initiative will help Sri Lanka’s apparel industry in its drive in manufacturing quality textiles and garments.

Intertek, a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world, has now expanded its textile and apparel presence in Sri Lanka with the inauguration of the testing laboratory in Battaramulla to serve the country’s nearly USD$4 billion apparel export industry.

The Sri Lanka textile and apparel lab brings the total number of Intertek textile and apparel labs to 47 and provides local manufacturers who serve global brands and retailers a convenient local testing solution, as well as unparalleled knowledge and expertise on global regulations and trends affecting the apparel and garment industry, said Intertek’s Group CFO and COO for South Asia, Lloyd Pitchford.

Sri Lanka is a focus country for Intertek as they can now provide a wide range of services in-country to help manufacturers to maximize their revenue potential by delivering time and cost savings. This local testing capability is a significant advantage for Sri Lanka’s textile and apparel export industry said sai Rajesh Saigal, Regional Managing Director, South Asia at the inauguration of the lab.

Intertek Lanka is a Joint Venture between Intertek Overseas Holding limited of UK and MMBL-pathfinder Group of Companies, whose founder is Milinda Moragoda of Sri Lanka; the Board has Lloyd Pitchford, Rajesh Saigal, Manish Kumar, Mrs. Neiliya Perera, Mrs. J. Moragoda and K. Balasundaram.

Intertek’s Sri Lanka textile and apparel testing lab employs 150 people and is equipped with the latest physical and analytical testing machinery to offer almost the full range of physical and ecological tests frequently required by customers, including: Physical Testing to identify and analyze physical properties of textiles, fibers and garments such as fiber content , feather and down, flammability testing , care label instructions, performance testing, etc. as well as Analytical and Chemical Testing for textiles, garments and apparel in order to detect harmful substances and ensure compliance with various state, federal and global regulations, etc.

Intertek also provides various technical training and consultation services to increase the acceptability of products.

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