Sri Lanka needs to develop its gem and jewellery industry with the country’s tourism sector in mind, and the government is devising plans to expand the two industries simultaneously, a senior minister told a forum yesterday.
“We are doubling the number of tourists visiting this country every year and there are so many who can invest in gem and jewellery,” Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Sarath Amunugama said.
He made these observations while addressing the opening ceremony of the FACETS Sri Lanka international gem and jewellery exhibition organized by the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association.
He further stated that if any tourist visiting the country was to purchase even a small gem, they would be immensely popular when they go back home. Minister Amunugama further pointed out that when meeting with heads of states he would be often queried as to where they could get good Sri Lankan gems.
He also pointed out the need for Sri Lanka to now focus more on value-addition in the gem and jewellery industry. “We must also now look at creating value in the gem as well as the jewellery industry in Sri Lanka. Today there is a lot of money in value- addition,” he noted
The Minister also stated that the government was very keen to strengthen, broaden and increase its commitment to the industry. “Our target is to make it a billion dollar industry within a couple of years. We are just halfway there,” he said.