China proposes setting up of US$ 30 million worth international gold exchange and a gem and jewellery hub in Colombo
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce has stated that China has proposed the setting up of an international gold exchange and a gem and jewellery hub in Colombo with an investment of US$ 30 million.
A statement issued by the Ministry stated that China’s state-owned Sanmenxio Jinqu Group which is backed by the world’s largest physical gold exchange, the Shanghai Gold Exchange, has proposed to invest in a high-rise which would house the exchange, retail stores, banks and entertainment facilities.
“This is the first foreign facility proposed to be set up in Colombo, and it will also be an extension of China’s Belt and Road Initiative,” Chairman of Sanmenxio Jinqu Group, Xu Yujin has said.
“A modern, state of the art gem and jewellery bourse will uplift Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery sector in many ways and attract Chinese tourists too,” he has also noted.
The Chinese firm will partner Batcha Gems, a Sri Lankan gem and jewellery supplier in China.
“We propose a three party joint venture with Batcha Gems, the government of Sri Lanka and Sanmenxio Jinqu with an initial investment of 30 million US dollars,” Yujin has been quoted as saying.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the main feature of the proposed project is a tower or a multi-story building to house gold exchange.
It will also host an office for Customs and shops selling Chinese and Sri Lankan gems and jewellery and other merchandise.
Statistics note that Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery exports have grown 5.3 percent from a year earlier to US$ 178 million in 2017.
The setting up of an international gold exchange and a gem and jewellery hub in Colombo would result in an increase in Sri Lanka’s export earnings as well as the arrival of a high net worth clientele into the country. This would result in an overall boom in the country’s economy. The Chinese backed exchange would guarantee a steady line of Chinese investors into the country. Hence, foreign investors/businesses could look at entering Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery market in order to reap the benefits of the expected growth.
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