As part of the economic diplomacy programme of the High Commission, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Kenya Velupillai Kananathan, visited on 31 August, 2021 the Hela Clothing factory in Nairobi. The purpose was to interact with the Sri Lankan investors in Kenya who remit investment proceeds to contribute to the foreign exchange earnings of Sri Lanka
The Managing Director of Hela Clothing Dilanka Jinadasa who received the High Commissioner Kananathan at the facility, provided a tour around the production units and briefed him on the profile and performance of their investments in Kenya. The Hela Clothing in Kenya remits their proceeds in the tune of US$ 130 million to Sri Lanka per annum. Managing Director Jinadasa said that the company works closely with global brands from design to delivery and has earned a reputation in Africa for its green initiatives, innovative business solutions and ethical and sustainable working environments. The Managing Director remarked that Sri Lanka should also support outward investments which generate foreign exchange revenue to the country. He added that with the expansion of business interests in Kenya which are in the pipeline, the repatriation of proceeds to Sri Lanka will be increased. Further the Managing Director appreciated the support and guidance being given by High Commissioner Kananathan to Sri Lankan investors in Kenya. The High Commissioner acknowledged that the outward investments are immensely contributing to the foreign exchange earnings of Sri Lanka in a sustainable manner and pledged that he would engage with the authorities both in Sri Lanka and Kenya, to facilitate all aspects in this regard.
The Hela Clothing Ltd is a Sri Lankan owned ethical and sustainable apparel manufacturer with factories across Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Egypt and Kenya. The Hela Clothing is a pioneer in apparel manufacturing in Kenya since 2016 which has progressed in leaps and bounds to be Kenya’s largest intimate wear manufacturer accounting for 15% of Kenya’s total apparel exports. Hela clothing has two production units in Nairobi, one producing intimate garments and the other personal protective equipment (PPE) and facemasks. Further, the Hela investments in Kenya provide employment to 64 Sri Lankans and 4600 Kenyans. It is also in the process of establishing a fabric manufacturing unit in Kenya.
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill