From left: Batcha Gems, Colombo Director M.N.M. Ramzeen and Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen discuss in the presence of Sanmenxio Jinqu Group Chairman Xu Yujin and Jinqu Gold Director Leah Wan
A Chinese state-owned gold mining giant has expressed interest to set up a US $ 30 million gem and jewellery exchange in Sri Lanka with the support of the Sri Lankan government and a major local gem and jewellery supplier to China.
According to a communiqué from the Industry and Commerce Ministry, China’s Sanmenxia Jinqu Group hopes to enter into a tri-party agreement with Sri Lanka’s Batcha Gems and the government, to carry out the project under China’s One Belt One Road Initiative.
During a recent meeting with Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen in Colombo, Leah Wan, a Director of Jinqu Gold, a subsidiary of Sanmenxia Jinqu Group, had said that the proposed gem and jewellery exchange would be located either in a tower or a modern multi-storey building.
“Along with gold, gem and jewellery shops in the bourse will be Sri Lankan gem and jewellery suppliers, Lankan banks, customs offices, foreign exchange counters, Chinese restaurants, food suppliers and other Chinese merchandisers,” Wan said.
“This will be a one-stop shop and a hub for international buyers, shoppers of gold, gem and jewellery in Colombo,” she added.
Sanmenxia Jinqu Group Chairman Xu Yujin had highlighted that the state-of-the-art gem and jewellery bourse would uplift Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery sector, while attracting Chinese tourists.
Bathiudeen had said that his ministry was ready to officially partner with Sanmenxia Jinqu Group in this venture and would hold ministerial level discussion with the finance minister and other relevant ministries on the way forward with regard to the government’s partnering and equity.
The Chinese firm, Sanmenxia Jinqu Group, is backed by the world’s largest physical gold exchange – the Shanghai Gold Exchange.
Sanmenxio Jinqu Group is located in Sanmenxia city prefecture in the Henan Province, which is China’s highest populated province with over 100 million people. Henan’s adjoining province is Shandong, where China’s largest gold deposit was discovered just last year – in March 2017.
Sri Lanka’s exports of gem and jewellery (excluding diamonds) increased by 5.3 percent year-on-year to US $ 178 million in 2017. According to the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association, the indirect gem and jewellery exports are approximately 1.5-2 times of the direct gem and jewellery exports.