As Sri Lanka reels under the ongoing economic crisis, Tiruppur-based garment exporters are expecting that international apparel buyers might shift their orders to India, Tiruppur in particular.

A few garment units in Tiruppur have received some orders and inquiries already, but no major shift in orders has taken place yet, they said.

As per media reports from Sri Lanka, apparel orders from the U.K., the European Union and Latin American countries are being diverted to India as the apparel sector in Sri Lanka has been adversely impacted by the fuel shortage, precipitated by the economic crisis. Orders were placed in Tiruppur by these buyers to purchase woven items, T-shirts and baby clothes, the reports said.

Raja M. Shanmugham, president of Tiruppur Exporters’ Association (TEA), said only “some incomplete orders” from Sri Lanka had come to the garment units in Tiruppur for completion in the past few months. “This is a bright chance that has opened up for India,” he told The Hindu, adding that the shifting of a substantial portion of the orders will depend on the policy decisions, taken by the Sri Lankan government.

Noting that the garments from Sri Lanka are known for its “workmanship,” Mr. Shanmugham suggested that the Central government must take steps to upskill the labour force in Tiruppur. As per his estimations, of the nearly six lakh labourers working in around 3,000 garment units, at least two lakh labourers need upskilling. “We have a self-groomed labour force, which has many limitations,” the TEA president said, adding that upskilling will lead to decrease in wastage and increase in productivity.

A. Sakthivel, president of Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said the international apparel buyers have placed their inquiries with the garment units in Tiruppur and that these buyers were already purchasing from India in addition to Sri Lanka. He expressed confidence that the Tiruppur cluster is prepared to fulfil the orders that could be diverted from Sri Lanka in the coming months, which, he estimated, could be “around 30-40%” of the total orders placed by apparel buyers in the island nation.

Published On : 29-04-2022

Source : The Hindu

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