“With world class certifications we are now supplying to many global brands such as Victoria’s Secret and Gap. Our apparel exports to the USA have been growing by 6%,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen recently in Colombo.
Bathiudeen was addressing the launch event of JAAF’s twin Public Private Partnership initiative on 23 February – provision of technical support and curriculum upgrade of SLITA by Juki Lanka Ltd. and JK Agencies Ltd. and also free licence grant by Optitex USA to SLITA to install one edition of its global 3D pattern making software valued at $ 30,000 for Lankan designers to access the platform for the first time.
The world’s leader in 2D and 3D apparel design software, the New York headquartered Optitex has granted its leading solution free to Sri Lanka Institute of Textile & Apparel (SLITA) under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, so that the future Lankan designers are trained in 3D design aspects, greatly reducing Lankan apparel design costs and cycles. The initiative is part of quality enhancement program of Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF)-apex Lankan body for its apparel and textile industry.
“Today’s MoU between SLITA and Juki and receiving of a licensed version of Optitex 3D design platform are steps in the right direction to enhance our reputation as a leading apparel outsourcing destination in the world,” said Minister Bathiudeen.
He added: “Apparel is our main export taking more than 40% of our export earnings. It is also the most significant contributor to our economy. Our high quality and ethical manufacturing methods have given us this reputation. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce realising the importance of this industry continues with its efforts to support the sector. In the period of September 2014 to September 2015, 474 textile wearing apparel and leather industries were registered by the Ministry. I am pleased to say that 15 new apparel factories registered in January-September 2015 and four buying and liaison offices registered.”
SLITA under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is the national institution that fulfils the fast track and cutting-edge education needs of the country’s world class apparel industry.