Challenges Faced By Clothing Manufacturers In Sri Lanka


If you're interested in starting or expanding a clothing manufacturing business, consider the advantages of Sri Lankan manufacturers. The island's proximity to major markets like the US and Europe makes it an excellent choice for production. It also attracts top talent. But with so many challenges to face, these companies must adapt quickly to stay competitive. Read on to discover how Sri Lankan clothing manufacturers can meet these challenges and grow their business. And don't forget to check out our latest article on the subject.

Worker rights

An historic agreement between the employer and union in Sri Lanka's garment industry is being celebrated. The agreement spells out joint union and employer support and respect for freedom of association. It also mandates the establishment of bipartite health committees in each workplace and an industry-wide dispute resolution mechanism. In addition, the agreement commits the parties to further discussions on lost wages and other monetary benefits for garment workers.

The report by Solidarity Center explores the extent to which Sri Lankan garment workers are abused. Based on a survey, the report shows that factory workers' rights are often violated. The Solidarity Center also calls for more resources, education, and awareness-raising training to improve worker conditions. And as a global player in the garment industry, it is important to demand better conditions for the workers.

The Better Work Programme, which is run by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is launching an ambitious industry-level intervention in Sri Lanka. The European Union has pledged to support this initiative. The aim of the programme is to promote worker health and safety and help the apparel industry rebuild itself. This report was published at a time when the country suffered from a severe coronavirus outbreak.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on Sri Lanka's garment industry. It has led to mass outbreaks of the disease in Sri Lanka's garment factories. In October 2020, a Covid-19 outbreak in the Brandix factory affected more than two thousand garment workers. Despite the epidemic's widespread impact, workers in Sri Lanka's garment factories still worked in unhealthy conditions, with no access to testing facilities or health care.

COVID-19 outbreak

The recent COVID-19 outbreak in Sri Lanka has highlighted a number of challenges facing the country. First of all, Sri Lanka has a lack of human and physical resources to deal with the outbreak. There are also haphazard structures and inconsistent government decision-making. Second, the country's government prioritizes emergency relief over preventing the spread of the disease. It has also not developed a national framework to prepare for pandemics.

The daily COVID-19 outbreak in Sri Lanka is continuing to cause concern. On 13 April 2020, News First reported the number of new cases to be 33, up from a day earlier. On 15 April, the Epidemiology Unit announced that another death had been reported. The Colombo Gazette and News First reported that a total of 168 people had tested positive for the disease. As of 10 April, the disease has claimed the lives of eight people.

The government and international health organisations have been urging governments to base their decisions on evidence-based policy-making. Evidence-based policy making calls for government agencies to base decisions on rational analysis and scientific expertise to reduce sources of bias. The COVID-19 outbreak in Sri Lanka illustrates the need for evidence-based policy-making. The GoSL consulted medical experts to obtain technical and medical advice. The results of the study were published in the journal PLOS Medicine, and the authors conclude that evidence-based policy-making is the key to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The WHO also provided data for the weekly global pandemic update. In addition, daily pandemic reports were available on the government's official website. The Epidemiology Unit also sourced articles from trusted institutional sources and archived them on the web. In addition to this, qualitative in-depth key informant interviews were conducted. In addition, interviews with health care workers and sub-national state authorities were conducted to gather more information on the situation.

Labour competitiveness

Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers are having trouble filling vacancies. The low female labour force participation rate contributes to the high unemployment rate. In 2015, 35 percent of the female population was unemployed, while 75 percent were employed. As a result, this trend is likely to continue. Although women make up a majority of machine operators, there are many roles for men in the apparel industry. Nevertheless, women make up only one-third of the workforce in the apparel industry.

The garment industry in Sri Lanka has faced challenges related to international competitiveness. In addition to heavy regulation, there are also industrial problems that negatively affect the country's ability to attract foreign investment. Consequently, many Sri Lankan clothing manufacturers do not adhere to labour standards and are thus losing potential market share. In addition to the labour shortage, poor infrastructure and long customs procedures hamper the country's export promotion efforts. While the situation in Sri Lanka is not as bad as many industry experts have feared, a lot still needs to be done.

Training garment-related workers is essential for enhancing productivity. Government labour departments have devised programmes to provide technical assistance to the garment sector. Many small and medium-sized garment factories still rely on Juki sewing machines, which are on average five years old. The ADB is considering a grant for the establishment of a Clothing Fashion and Design Centre in Sri Lanka. As a result, training units for garment workers have sprung up across the country.

The apparel industry in Sri Lanka has been around for a relatively short period, but is quickly growing, and has the potential to become a regional hub. Moreover, it can also boost women's and low-income populations' access to high-quality garment products. While the industry is still in its early stages, Sri Lanka is increasingly competing in the global apparel market. With the right policy measures, the Sri Lankan apparel industry can become a regional hub and compete with countries like Vietnam and Cambodia.


With a high quality human resource base and an advantage in strategic geographical location, Sri Lanka is a logical choice for apparel companies headquartered in Hong Kong. Hong Kong-based apparel manufacturers would benefit from a competitive edge in quality products, and access to a market for middle-to-high-end clothing. HKTDC Research visited a foreign apparel manufacturer in Sri Lanka, and found that its key strengths include continuous staff training and product innovation.

One of Sri Lanka's major exports is apparel, and the country is well-positioned for growth in this industry. Many apparel exporters in the country are based in Hong Kong or China, and Sri Lanka's garment industry employs nearly half a million people and exports 44 percent of its manufactured goods. However, as the TPP is being phased in, the local industry is at risk of becoming competitive with TPP signatories.

Until recently, the apparel industry in Sri Lanka faced several challenges, including chronic labour shortage and decreasing interest from youth and women. It also experienced a significant occupational shift, which saw a shift in attention to retail, tourism, and service sectors. As a result, several hundred apparel firms in Sri Lanka shut down, and large companies shifted from a competitive low-cost model to a more sophisticated and technologically advanced operation.

As a result, the study found that the supply chain management process is not well understood, despite its high quality. During the interview process, the researchers conducted 20 in-depth interviews with 18 participants who worked for 10 different organizations: three buyers, three direct suppliers, three nominated sub-suppliers, two academics, and one non-governmental organization. A pilot study was conducted in July 2016 and the first author attended various events and NGO programs in Colombo to meet with different organizations and learn about their experiences. The interviews were transcribed and edited after they were complete.

Supply chain practices

This paper reports findings from a research project to understand the supply chain practices of clothing manufacturers in Sri Lanka. The study consists of 20 in-depth interviews with 18 informants from 10 organizations: three buyers, ten direct suppliers, three nominated sub-suppliers, and two non-governmental organizations. Nineteen of the interviews were conducted in person, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. One interview took place by videoconference.

The study is limited by its methodological design. It relies on qualitative fieldwork in Sri Lanka and interviews with Sri Lankan informants who hold high standards of compliance. While these informants are representative of the apparel supply chain, their perspectives may not reflect the wider sector. Further empirical studies should compare the insights gained through nominated procurement with those obtained from informants from different geographical markets, as well as from upstream suppliers.

The most significant challenge facing closed-loop supply chains is the high cost of transportation. Other problems include high inventory costs and a shortage of staff. A closed-loop supply chain should have competitive pricing, be socially responsible, and responsive to changing customer demands. To achieve this, a company should consider adopting a supplier relationship management (SRM) system and an analytical hierarchy process (AHP) model.

Initially, the decision-making process was highly centralized. The buyers prioritized price over compliance. Moreover, the buyers were putting more pressure on sub-suppliers to lower prices. These practices increased the risk of de-selection for sub-suppliers. But, the pressure to meet customer demand has shifted the supply chain's structure in Sri Lanka. Achieving these goals is a critical step for apparel manufacturers in emerging markets.