Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Sri Lanka with a new strategy to increase gem exports to US$2 billion

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka the ninth largest gem exporter to the global market and one of the world’s five most important gem bearing nations is now ready to  implement a well-structured strategy aimed at attaining an annual export revenue of at least two billion US dollars.

The country’s Gem export industry’s contribution to economy is yet to match the other global stakeholders such as Thailand, which is an international trading hub for gem and jewellery and generates around US$ 12 billion in export revenue, Hong Kong, which notches US$ 30 billion.

As per the Central Bank Annual Report 2022, Sri Lanka earned US$ 450 million as export income from gems, diamonds, and jewellery during 2022 while the annual average for the past 5 years was US$ 298 million.

During a recent discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat to address issues within the gem and jewellery industry, President Ranil Wickremesinghe urged officials to swiftly implement comprehensive strategy for achieving the country’s objective of bolstering annual export earnings through enhancements in gem and jewellery exports and re-exports.

Furthermore, the President revealed that recommendations pertaining to tax policies for the advancement of the gem and jewellery sector were submitted to him by the “Sectoral Monitoring Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development”.

Deliberations extended to discussions on taxes impacting the industry as well as the export and re-export procedures. Pertinent stakeholders also shared insights with the President regarding the challenges that have arisen within the sector.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe assured that the government is fully prepared to provide necessary support and facilities if a formalized plan to elevate the gem and jewellery industry in Sri Lanka is promptly presented.

Sri Lanka has recorded a significant rise in its export revenue from the gems, jewellery, and diamonds sector, recording a 32% increase compared to the same period the previous year.

The country’s ability to leverage its rich natural resources and skilled craftsmanship has played a vital role in this sector’s growth, despite global economic challenges.

The National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) reports that the revenue from these exports has increased dramatically.

The Chairman of the NGJA, Viraj de Silva, disclosed that the total revenue generated from gems, jewellery, and diamonds exports from January to the end of May 2023 reached US$ 222 million.

The figure indicates a substantial surge in comparison to the same period in 2022, which saw approximately $ 161 million in revenue.

The country’s thriving gem industry benefits from the abundance of resources and the traditional skills of local gem cutters and jewellery makers.

The robust increase in revenue from gem, jewellery, and diamond exports demonstrates Sri Lanka’s potential as a global leader in the sector. As the country continues to enhance its capabilities, the future looks bright for Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery industry.

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