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Gems and Jewellery Industry in Sri Lanka

The gems and jewellery sector plays a vital role in Sri Lanka’s economy, contributing immensely in earning foreign exchange and providing employment opportunities. The industry’s potential for value addition, profitability and employment generation is high but remains untapped to a large extent. Gems and Jewellery sector consists of three major segments namely Gems, Diamonds and Jewellery.
In gemstones, Sri Lanka retains a world market position as a producer of fine quality gems. Sri Lanka has some of the greatest varieties of gems in the world. Despite its relatively small size, it is easy to imagine the density of gems found in Sri Lanka.
The following strategies have been proposed to improve the competitiveness of the gems and jewellery industry:
  • Establish a world-class, internationally affiliated Gemstone Testing Laboratory (GTL) for certification and research
  • Establish a regionally recognized free-standing Gem & Jewellery Training Institute (GJTI) affiliated to a leading international training institute
  • Launch an international sapphire promotion campaign to brand differentiate the industry in Sri Lanka through a branding programme for Ceylon Sapphire
  • Complete the National Gem Deposit Survey
  • Improve the Regulatory framework – better import export and taxation procedures, better mining and land use guidelines and policy, rationalization of government provided services such as training. 
Sri Lanka is gifted with over 150 varieties of gems available. The major gemstones available are: Sapphire, rube, star stones, alexandrite, topaz, chrysoberyl, spinel, zircon, quartz and moonstone. The country also has deposits of rare gemstone like andalusite, kornerupine, a variety of agates, sinhalite, iolite, indicolite, fibrolite, taafeite, ekakanite, and star spinel.
The government in Sri Lanka has come up with several schemes to boost the industry. The tax structure has already been changed in order to safeguard the industry which the government has recognized as one of the key areas in the economy because of the vast potential in the gem and jewellery sector especially in the jewellery manufacturing and diamond cutting industry.
The Government has come up with a comprehensive array of fiscal and financial incentives to companies investing in the gem and jewellery manufacturing industry. Further all imports of precious metals and gems (including diamonds) have been exempted from the application of duty and value added tax (VAT) under Sri Lanka laws. These policies have been framed with the objectives of making Sri Lanka a center for manufacturing, trading and retailing of gems, precious metals and jewellery. Port and Airport Development Levy (PAL) have been removed on gem, diamond and gold import with effect from January 1st 2007.Foreign investment will be promoted via the Board of Investment (BOI).

Last Updated on: 17-05-2010

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