The National Gem and Jewellery Authority`s (NGJA) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hasitha Tillekeratne recently had discussions with China`s Ambassador in Sri Lanka Madam Xluping Yang on gem exports to China.
Ambassador Xluping said that the Chinese considered Sri Lanka`s blue sapphires a symbol of good fortune and prosperity and called upon the Gem Authority to take steps to provide every Chinese family with an authentic blue sapphire, from Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka-China relations go back to thousands of years. History records that during the Anuradhapura period a Sri Lankan Buddhist mission donated relic caskets studded with blue sapphires to temples in Kungking, China during a visit there.
Today there is a new market for Sri Lankan gems in China. The NGJA organized a `Sri Lanka Pavilion` at a leading gem exhibition this year, to be held in Shanghai from May 13-16 where a number of Sri Lankan gem businessmen are scheduled to participate.
This is the third such `National Pavilion` to be held at a leading Gem and Jewellery Exhibition in China.
Tillekeratne said China which today stands unshaken before the global economic recession - would prove to be an excellent market for Sri Lanka`s blue sapphires. He said Sri Lanka exported gems worth Rs. 8.6 million to China in 2008.