Sri Lanka Emphasizes Importance Of Ethical Trading

Dr. G.L. Peiris — Sri Lanka’s international trade minister — has supported the Sri Lankan
government’s commitment to achieving high-quality manufacturing standards. “Ethical trading policy
is central to the country’s development as we consolidate relations with the [European Union] this
year and seek new trading partners in a world where consumers are increasingly discerning,” Peiris

Peiris made his comment following Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama’s March visit to the
Middle East and Europe, where he asserted that “economic growth must go hand in hand with
empowering the people if the country is to continue to prosper on the world stage.”

This month, Switzerland-based SGS Group — an inspection, verification, testing and
certification company — awarded Garments without Guilt certificates to 60 Sri Lankan textile
factories. Using SGS Group’s best practice guidance, Sri Lanka Apparel — the Sri Lankan textile
trade organization — created a code of conduct for its Garments without Guilt campaign. The
certificates ensure that working conditions in textile factories are free of child labor, forced
labor, discrimination and sweatshop practices.

May 21, 2008