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Govt. in talks to expand gem and jewellery market for foreigners

Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that he hopes to promote the Sri Lankan gem and jewellery market by expanding the local market for foreigners to purchase high quality gems and jewellery in Sri Lanka.

Addressing a meeting of members of the Gem and Jewellery Authority held in Colombo yesterday (31), the Minister said that the demand for Sri Lankan gems and jewellery in the international market has increased.

Speaking further, Minister Ranatunga said, “Gems and jewellery are the oldest exports in our country. As a result, there is a profitable market for local gems and jewellery around the world.”

He stated that out of the tourists who visit the country annually, about 1.5 million are able to afford gems and jewelry.

“I believe that a programme should be implemented to attract tourists to gems and jewelry industry,” he said.

The minister said, according to industry insiders, the development of the industry, targeting the Sri Lankan expatriates could generate around $ 500 million in foreign revenue.

He revealed that the National Policy Framework also proposes to exempt high-tech equipment required for increased production from import duties.
It is also proposed to limit the export of mineral sand, such as dolomite and phosphate gems, and to convert them into value added products that can be exported.