Special Representative of the President and Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication Basil Rajapaksa,  symbolically handed over the first batch of face masks from a production of 200 million face masks for export by Brandix, to U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Alaina B. Teplitz.

The handover took place at the Brandix Headquarters on Thursday in the presence of JAAF Chairman A. Sukumaran, Brandix Group Chief Executive Officer Ashroff Omar and Board Member of Brandix Apparel Limited Ranga Ranmadugala.

U.S Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Alaina B. Teplitz expressed her appreciation to Rajapaksa and Brandix saying that as the world combats this global pandemic, the long friendship between the United States and Sri Lanka is helping both our countries overcome this challenge.  

“Our collaboration has resulted in quality products that can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Impressively, the fabric used for the face masks was produced in Sri Lanka, while the chemicals used for the antimicrobial finish were made in the United States, demonstrating a synergy that benefits all. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the Sri Lankan Government and Brandix to sustain the global supply of PPEs,” she said.

Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka is proud that products manufactured in Sri Lanka such as these 200 million face masks are being exported to nations like the US, where it will play a vital role in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The collaboration between the two countries has resulted in sustaining our national economy, in addition to paving way for global customers to reach out to Sri Lanka for quality products in the months ahead. We are glad that a leader in apparel like Brandix utilized its resources to lead the way in this journey, giving the global market a glimpse of the advanced infrastructure and agility that is already in place within Sri Lanka, in order to meet the current and future market demands,” he said.

The face masks produced by Brandix have been manufactured combining the efforts of over 15,000 of the company’s Associates and an extended network of 4 – 5 supply chain partners in the country. The face masks, produced as 3-ply and of cotton-based fabric with antimicrobial finish, is stretchable for better fit and meet stringent hygiene standards.

Speaking on the endeavour, Ms. Ranga Ranmadugala – Board Member of Brandix Apparel Limited said that the apparel industry is a key export revenue generator in Sri Lanka, generating $5.6 billion of exports in the last fiscal year itself.

“However, the unavoidable decline in trade and production output resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, has left the industry facing its toughest predicament in recent times, impacting Sri Lanka’s positioning against other apparel export markets. In this daunting background, the production of a large volume of face masks for export to the US is truly heartening as it reaffirms the continued trust and partnership the two nations uphold, she said.

Ranmadugala added despite the challenging conditions and the tough road ahead, the industry will continue to do its part to combat potential long-term impacts of the pandemic and bring in revenue to replenish the national economy. We are also happy that we can continue to sustain livelihoods through continued production as well. As a leader in apparel, we assure the Government of Sri Lanka that we will do our utmost to support the journey ahead.