The Free Trade Zone Manufactures (KIPZ) are not facing any major difficulties and export orders have not dipped.
For the month of April the Katunayake Export Processing Zone did around USD 350 million average exports but in May this figure is expected to dip according to Secretary Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association (FTZMA), Dhammika Fernando.Exports of PPE goods have increased and a new local investor is pumping around Rs. 400 million to building a new rubber gloves manufacturing facility in the zone.
This will be opened in July. He said that they are taking extra precautions to safeguard their employees to avoid any ‘COVID-19 building’ clusters. “This will ensure that the factories do not close,enabling foreign orders to process as planned.” He said that they had to turn down a request from government authorities to offer space to house C-19 patients in the zone (in abandoned factories) due to contamination issues.
“However we have been able to offer abandoned factories outside the zone for this purpose.” He also said that the C-19 Pandemic has no negative impact on the KIPZ operations. (SS)