American & Efird Lanka (A&E Lanka), the Sri Lankan manufacturer of sewing and embroidery thread, is to double production capacity at its plant in Bangladesh this year.

"Our current output in Bangladesh is around 100 tonnes per month. We are planning to increase this to 200 tonnes within the next 12 months," said A&E Lanka's CEO Irfan Thassim.

The expansion is aimed at tapping into the demand for quality thread from Bangladesh's large garment industry. 

"Bangladesh has a US$7bn export market in apparel, compared to just under US$3bn in Sri Lanka," Thassim said.

"Their apparel exporters are actually bigger than India's at the moment and they are growing.

"We will continue to expand in Bangladesh because this is a growing market and there is a growing demand for the A&E brand of thread."

At the moment A&E produces a range of sewing thread in 1,050 standard colours and in dyed-to-order special colours to match individual customer requirements.

The company is also the sole distributor for Lurex metallic thread in South Asia.

A&E Lanka is a joint venture between Brandix Lanka, American & Efird, and Brandot International.

The company received the 'Excellence in Social Responsibility' award in the 'Preservation of the Environment' category from the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) last year.

The satellite plant in Bangladesh is designed and operated along the same lines as the plant in Kaduwela, Sri Lanka.

By Dilshani Samaraweera.