Sri Lanka’s Joint Apparel Association (JAAF), an industry body, is working with the country’s Board of Investment to set up a fabric processing park in Eravur, Batticaloa, in the eastern part of the island nation to draw investors from countries like China, according to Rehan Lakhany, Chairman of Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA).

Discussions are under way with relevant authorities to procure a 200-acre plot in Eravur for the park, Lakhany said at a forum on sustainable financing for responsible fashion organised by HSBC and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Chinese apparel makers, who are looking to re-locate over a trade war with the United States would be one of the target groups to be invited for setting up units, a Sri Lankan online media outlet reported.

Sri Lanka imports more than half of its fabric from China.

As a shipment takes about a month to reach Sri Lanka from China, considerable time lost in transportation can be saved and import expenditure reduced, Lakhany said. The industrial zone will have centralized facilities such as water treatment plant to re-cycle water which will reduce set up costs for prospective investors, he added.