Reducing import duties can make Sri Lanka an attractive shopping destination for tourists – ODEL Chairman

Sri Lanka’s leading fashion retailer Odel PLC, says it is working closely with both the government and policy-makers to reduce the duty on imports to render Sri Lanka as an attractive shopping destination to tourists. “As the pioneer in the fashion retail space, Odel is working closely with both the government and policy-makers to reduce the duty on imports to render Sri Lanka as an attractive shopping destination to tourists on par or even better than other regional shopping hubs. We are hoping our lobbying efforts for the industry will help liberalize the market and reduce tariffs to earn valuable foreign revenue for the country.” Odel PLC Chairman Ashok Pathirage told shareholders in the 2018/19 annual report. Speaking further Pathirage noted that if the country can strike the right balance between retail and tourism, the opportunities are limitless For Sri Lanka as a shopping destination. “A substantial component of Odel’s business is generated from tourists, hence it is vital that the tourism industry is on an upward trajectory. The financial year 2019/20 will be an eventful one, in terms of the opening of a new Odel Department Store at the One Galle Face Mall managed by the Shangri-la Group, which spans 54,000 sq. ft. of Odel and the Group’s international brand outlets including Softlogic’s international restaurant franchises, which will account for 100,000 sq. ft. at the Mall. Our presence at the One Galle Face Mall is a significant investment and we are optimistic about generating adequate returns,” Pathirage said. “Odel’s vision for the future is aligned with the nation’s economy and as GDP growth. and per capita income improves, we hope to see a thriving fashion retail industry propelled by the overall economic growth momentum,” Pathirage added. For the year ended March 31, 2019, Odel PLC’s net profit rose 23% year-on-year (YoY) to Rs.245 million, on group revenue of Rs.8.1 billion, up 10% YoY.

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