Sri Lanka’s Gem and Jewelry Association unveils Strategic Hub Proposal
The Morning: The Sri Lanka Gem and Jewelry Association (SLGJA) recently presented its “Sri Lanka Gemstone Hub Strategy–Sapphire Capital of the World” proposal to the Government. The presentation ceremony took place at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on 24 August 2023.
During his address at the ceremony, SLGJA President Award Deen said: “Months of meticulous planning, collaborative efforts, and visionary thinking have culminated in the Concept Paper that we are proud to present today. As we take this important step forward, it is our distinct privilege to align our aspirations with the visionary intentions of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who’s steadfast commitment to fostering and elevating the gem and jewelry industry is evident in his recent statements acknowledging the pivotal role of this sector in Sri Lanka’s development.”
SLGJA Past President Chanaka Ellawala explained the concept of the proposal to the various dignitaries and Ministers who were present at the event. The main objective of the proposal was to alleviate the gem and jewelry industry in Sri Lanka, by establishing a free trade period for the sale of gems and jewelry, similar to that of Dubai, Thailand and Singapore, who have also implemented similar systems. This would greatly improve both short term and long-term market conditions in the sector and help generate much needed foreign income into the country.
The Minister of Industries Dr. Ramesh Pathirana stated: “This free trade zone system for the gem and jewelry sector is an urgent need for this country. Therefore, the government is working to provide the necessary guidance and maximum support to advance the gem and jewelry industry by utilizing the resources and capabilities in Sri Lanka.”
Various dignitaries connected to the gem and jewelry sector in Sri Lanka participated at the event including Minister of Industries Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of State for Primary Industries Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, State Minister of Investment Promotion Dilum Amunugama, Members of Parliament Ajith Mannapperuma and Akila Ellawala, National Gem and Jewelry Authority (NGJA) Chairman Viraj De Silva and Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Dr. Kingsley Bernard.
Sri Lanka’s gem and jewelry industry is showing great business potential with the authorities looking at regaining the lost glory once held by ‘Gems of Ceylon.’ Sri Lankan gems have been synonymous with high quality and value, with some key gems making their way into several Royal households in the Western hemisphere. Local authorities are currently engaged in promotional campaigns internationally along with local stakeholders with the aim of expanding the industry. Incentive schemes have also been offered to encourage businesses/investors. With the government of Sri Lanka also focused on increasing the revenue generated through the gem and jewelry industry, the industry is showing great growth and business potential. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore the expanding opportunities in Sri Lanka’s gem and jewelry industry or even look at forming partnerships or joint ventures with local businesses engaged in the industry with the aim of expanding locally and internationally.
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