SLGJA hosts Key Person’s Forum | Sunday Observer

SLGJA hosts Key Person’s Forum

3 January, 2021

The Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) hosted the first Key Person’s Forum recently, for the industry to develop a sustainable policy framework.

State Minister of Money and Capital Markets, and State Enterprise Reform, Ajith Nivard Cabraal   State Minister of Gem and Jewellery related Industries, Lohan Ratwatte and  Chairman and CEO of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA), Thilak Weerasinghe were present.

The event, which created a platform for a discussion between the industry and State, was attended by many local gem and jewellery traders.

NGJA Director Thilak Nanayakkara outlined avenues in which the industry has made progress over the past years, while bringing to attention the areas that need development. He pointed out the need for a Gem Tower in Colombo - similar to the one that is being constructed in Ratnapura, efficient courier services to benefit the traders and buyers, and developing an online licensing method. He reiterated the government’s target for the industry, USD 5 bn in export revenue by 2025.

Both state ministers in attendance emphasised the need to work together to reach this target and further advance the gem and jewellery industry.  Lohan Ratwatte pledged the assistance of the government in creating a dialogue with all stakeholders and relaxing red tapes to ensure that the total value of the country’s treasures will flow back inward.  Ajith Nivard Cabraal stated that having identified the very high potential of the industry, the government is ready to address the key issues, while maintaining consistent policies in areas such as tax, export, and customs to benefit the traders to reach the set target.

Other important issues discussed at the forum included customised quarantine procedures for foreign buyers to trade in Sri Lanka, relaxing custom bonds for foreign sellers interested in exhibiting at FACETS – the only international gem and jewellery exhibition in Sri Lanka, and the ongoing discussions regarding the FTA with China, which is one of the biggest markets for the industry, and the only active market during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ministers committed to consistency in all reforms brought forth by the present government.