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SLGJA and NGJA to import rough stones to reach $1 billion mark of exports and foreign sales

SLGJA and NGJA to import rough stones to reach $1 billion mark of exports and foreign sales

The Morning: Sri Lanka, as in the process of gaining the “hub” status for Gems, is planning on importing rough gems to reach the $1 billion mark of exports and foreign sales.
Speaking at the press conference recently, FACETS Sri Lanka Chairman and Foreign Promotions and Trade Fairs of Sri Lanka Gem and Jewelry Association (SLGJA) Vice Chairman Altaf Iqbal said: “If 10 gemstones are exported, 6-7 stones are imported stones. We need stones for our Lapidary industry. The World is opening up. We need more rough stones to reach the $1 billion mark.”
He pointed out that SLGJA has made a “strategic” plan to gain “hub” status for the industry where they can import a considerable amount of rough material and turn it into something similar to a free-trade zone (FTZ) in Sri Lanka, similar to that in Thailand and other countries.
“Our main goal is to preserve our stones for Sri Lankans. We have 1 million people surviving from this industry. Therefore, we don’t want any of our rough stones to go out without value addition, and without Sri Lankans obtaining the value,” Iqbal said.
Along with the industry’s 30th Anniversary in Gem and jewelry, “FACETS” will accommodate a rough stone pavilion. African dealers are to exhibit their rough stones for Sri Lankans to purchase where the rough stones will be processed, cut, and final shaping done in the country. Therefore, the country should open up the market for rough stones to be imported, yet there is a bureaucratic barrier preventing it from happening.
“However, for the show it has been temporarily removed. This show can be considered a trial for overcoming these issues. If all works out well, it will be permanently removed. The rough stones are imported from Africa, Burma, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Cambodia,” Iqbal explained.
According to the SLGJA Chairman Ajward Deen, SLGJA has set a goal of achieving $400-500 of spending per foreigner, on gems and jewelry, and aspires to increase visitor spending with distinctive gem-centric offers in the face of industry migrations and economic problems.
Sri Lanka imports 70% of its gemstones from countries such as Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Kenya while the remaining 30% are domestically produced gems. Since all Sri Lankan women typically wear gold jewelry, 100% of the value-added products are exported to countries such as the United States, Switzerland, France, China, Bangkok, and Hong Kong.

OSL take:
Sri Lanka’s gem and jewelry industry has been identified by the government of Sri Lanka as a high revenue generator for the country in the coming years. While the government has prepared incentive schemes for businesses in the gem and jewelry industry, local authorities have also launched many promotional campaigns aimed at promoting Sri Lanka’s gems and jewelry in foreign markets. Sri Lanka’s gems, better known in the past as Gems of Ceylon, are synonymous of high value and quality. Many Ceylon Gems could be seen in Royal households around the world. However, the latest programmers launched by Sri Lanka to further develop and expand the country’s gem and jewelry industry, have opened up a host of business/investment opportunities. Given the growth and business potential in Sri Lanka’s gem and jewelry industry, foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore the expanding opportunities in the sector.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20231011/Z_4

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