New doors for businessmen can be opened to earn foreign exchange by exporting. - Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena

The President is ready to reconsider reliefs and taxation by revising the rules and regulations related to the gem and jewellery sector..

The Prime Minister made these comments today (29.06.2024) while attending as the chief guest of the "International Gems and Jewellery Exhibition-2024" which was held for the first time in Ratnapura district at Silver Ray Hotel, Pelmadulla.

The Prime Minister further said that -

"Our country was famous for gems more than tea, coconut and rubber. In the past, the gems of our country were famous among the Kings and businessmen of different countries. Our gems had a sacred and noble value. But, no one came to invade our country because of gems. We were invaded for other things. Then, tea, coconut and rubber contributed as the main export crops to boost our country’s economy and earn foreign exchange. Tea, coconut and rubber were cultivated by changing the geographical map of the country. We have been doing it for one and half centuries.

During J. R. Jayawardena government, the garment industry and the tourism industry were established. In addition to coconut and rubber, we can only talk about those two changes. We have to open new doors to earn foreign exchange by exporting. There is a good opportunity for gem and jewellery industry. If we pay more attention on gem and jewellery industry than the two aforementioned means, we can earn a large amount of foreign exchange.

This is an industry that has been brought forward by the private sector with the guidance and participation of the government. And an industry that has a good future, that has diversity, and can be used to create a value in various fields.

There is a possibility of using modern technology for this industry. The opportunity has been requested for the industry to be developed by revising the rules and regulations related to this field. The President is ready to reconsider the necessary reliefs and taxation. Our handmade jewellery has a good demand. Neighbour countries have already come forward in this field. Today the world is negotiating with us. This transformation is taking place through the sacrifices made for economic growth. That’s why the government is supporting to uplift the gem and jewellery industry.

Ratnapura is famous for gems and floods. What should the public as well as those engaged in the gem industry do during floods? Special attention should be paid in this regard and a new program should be initiated."

This international exhibition, which consisted of 80 stalls, was also participated in by foreign delegations and member communities from many countries including China, India, and Vietnam.

A group including Ven. Bengamuwe Dhammadinna Thera, Chief Incumbent of Sri Padasthana, Governor of Sabaragamuwa Province Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Industry and Health Ramesh Pathirana, State Ministers Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, Ashoka Priyantha, Janaka Wakkumbura, MPs John Seneviratne, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Yadamini Gunawardena, Marjan Faleed, Varuna Liyanage. , Sabaragamuwa Provincial Chief Secretary Mahinda S. Weerasuriya, Secretary to the Ministry of Industries, and Chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Authority Viraj De Silva participated in this event.

Prime Minister’s Media