apparels no longer a viable export industry: pM

Published : 8:51 am  March 6, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Yohan Perera
Sri Lanka cannot depend on apparel exports any-more and the time is ripe for the production of electronic items such as mobile phone accessories and even parts for robotic machines, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. 


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is seen inspecting a mini robotic machine at the science exhibition . Pic by Pradeep Pathirana   

Mr. Wickremesinghe made this remark at a ceremony to mark the 150th anniversary of St Mary’s College, Kegalle yesterday.   
“We asked the University of Harvard to carry out a study on Sri Lanka’s economy. The university in turn informed us that Sri Lanka should not rely on exporting apparels any more. This is a correct assessment as Sri Lanka cannot compete with countries such as Bangladesh, where the wages are lower. Therefore we need to concentrate on new export items such as electronics. We can even start manufacturing parts for mobile phones or robotic machines,” the Prime Minister said.  He said there was a lot of potential for the manufacturing of robotics as china has decided to use around 4000 robotic machines for production. ‘There is potential for producing parts of electronic and other modern equipment. Parts of electronic and electrical goods and other modern equipment which are needed by Japan are manufactured in countries such as Thailand today,” he said citing an example.   

He also said technology would be introduced in schools soon. Meanwhile, Minster of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam announced that the government would have to assist schools on a priority basis though many schools have asked for financial assistance. “As many as 30 ministers and MPs come to me during public days asking for assistance for schools around the country but I will have to assist them on a priority basis” he said.   

Chief Minister Sabaragamuwa Maheepala Herath said government should assist schools such as St Mary’s College and thanked the Prime Minister for assisting this school.