As part of a recent visit to Sri Lanka, top officials from the US's Sara Lee Corporation toured local apparel factories and said they were interested in further investments in Asia and Sri Lanka.

One of the world's largest manufacturers with operations in 55 countries, Sara Lee Corporation has an annual revenue of around $20 billion and brands including Hanes, Playtex and Wonderbra.

Sara Lee USA already has joint ventures with Courtaulds Lanka Ltd and Izebella Pvt Ltd, who supply products to the UK and Germany.

Sara Lee's executive vice president Cary McMillan said the company needed to "do a little bit of work" in Sri Lanka before commencing business and added that the country should focus on more value added products if it was to successfully expand its apparel industry.