In the backdrop of falling garment exports, made worse by the loss of the GSP+ concession in exports to the EU, a source connected to the trade who raised this matter before a powerful Treasury mandarin recently, got the shock of his life when he was told to “Go and plant vegetables.”
A few years ago it was this same Treasury mandarin, speaking at a public forum where this reporter was also present, who praised the garment industry and said that Sri Lanka’s 100 + year old tea industry could do well to take a cue or two from the garment sector, the island’s biggest export and providing employment to 300,000.
“The Government is not interested in the garment sector, forgetting that it sustained the economy for the past 30 years,” a garment industry source told this newspaper. “We walked the talk, but tell me, despite all the expectations on the country’s tourism industry after the war end, how many hotels have had come up?” he asked.
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