Mineralogical investigations have revealed that Sri Lanka has 90 percent potential gem-bearing land and Sri Lanka is home for over 75 varieties and sub varieties
of 200 species identified as gem stones, National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA), Deputy Director General Ajith Perera told at a seminar at the Export Development Board yesterday.
He was speaking on the problems and prospects of Diamond, Gems and Jewellery Export Sector.
Referring to the strategies to accelerate export growth of gems, he said that three strategies - namely supply development, capacity building and demand development have been introduced and that it is necessary to increase the availability of state and plantation land for gemming to increase the domestic supply of raw materials.
Launching a national gem deposit survey to identify new gem deposits and initiating a research project to increase mining productivity through appropriate technology development are the other strategies to achieve this objective.
The Authority will facilitate the free flow of imported raw materials by relaxing exchange control and customs regulations at entry points and negotiating bi-lateral Gem Trade Agreements with other source countries, he said.
A land of gems
* Sri Lanka is home for over 75 varieties and sub varieties of 200 species
*National gem deposit survey to identify new gems
* NGJA to make Sri Lanka the leading producer of Blue Sapphires in the world
To build manufacturing capacity, the Authority would provide collateral support for fixed and working capital loans by setting up a credit guarantee fund and the supply of skilled gem cutters will be increased through delivery of high quality training.
The local machinery manufacturers will be assisted to improve their products and expand their capacity, he said.
Perera said that a branding program to position Ceylon Sapphire as a premium product will be rolled out and an internationally accredited laboratory will be established to issue reports on the quality of gems.
The vision of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority is to make Sri Lanka the leading producer of Blue Sapphires in the world and a regional centre for coloured Sapphires and high quality jewellery, he said.
Export Development and International Trade Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris was the chief guest.