According to Sri Lanka's Central Bank, apparel exports dropped in March 9.5% year-on-year to US$ 281 million, making the overall year-on-year drop for the first three months of 2010 14.9% at US$ 703.2 million.
Si Lanka’s Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) expects 2010 earnings to be lower than 2009 owing to the lack of market support. Though it is optimistic in its forecasts for future revenue growth, expecting an annual 5% expansion from 2011 to 2015, it has reduced its target of US$ 5 billion for the next five yearsto a more realistic US$ 4 billion.
There is concern in Sri Lanka about future shipments to the US and the European Union, recipients of 93% of the country’s overall garment exports, because of the economic woes and the euro depreciation against the dollar. Added to this, import duties on garment exports to the European Union are expected to increase between 8% and 12% as the GSP+ duty-free trade scheme is likely to be suspended after mid-August 2010.