Intertek is to open an apparel and textiles testing laboratory in Bataramulla, Sri Lanka, to support the country's growing textile and garment industry.

The London Stock Exchange-listed company says it has established a full-service textile and apparel testing lab, centrally located to a number of global apparel buyers and manufacturers.

Intertek has equipped the softlines lab with the latest physical and analytical testing machines allowing it to offer almost the full range of physical and ecological tests requested by its customers, it said.

The company first established operations in Sri Lanka in 2000. Sri Lanka's textile and apparel industry now accounts for nearly half of the country's exports.

"Sri Lanka's significant textile testing market of more than US$5.5m, along with a growing demand and expectation from many global buyers and local textile community, make Sri Lanka an idea location for Intertek's latest softlines testing lab," the company said.

"Sri Lanka's apparel export industry is the most significant and dynamic contributor for Sri Lanka's economy.

"The industry has enjoyed epic growth levels over the past four decades and is today Sri Lanka's primary foreign exchange earner accounting to 40% of the total exports and 52% of industrial products exports."