Special Assignments Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama inaugurates the Jewel 2015 exhibition at the BMICH yesterday.
Special Assignments Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama yesterday called for more exports with greater support from the Government warning that country’s performance has been dismal despite growing opportunities globally.
“The biggest problem we have, we have discussed in the budget these days so we can focus on that, is that we are not exporting enough. When we look at the exports as compared to what we did nearly 10 years ago it has declined. So any government here must make a very important decision to go on and help to export,” Dr. Amunugama said at the opening of the Jewel 2015 exhibition at the BMICH organised by the Gemmologist’s Association of Sri Lanka. Emphasising on the rising middleclass globally, he suggested that Sri Lanka’s exporters capitalise on this potential market segment.
“Today in the world the middle class is rising. People who have money is emerging in all the Asian countries as well as in the West. So potentially that market is there. The question is: how are we going to address that issue?” Dr. Amunugama added.
Pointing out that Sri Lanka has been known for centuries as the land of gems, Dr. Amunugama stated that it was time the gem and jewellery industry bestowed a noteworthy return to the economy of this country.
“We have money coming in from apparel, tea as well as from a few other agricultural exports, but I think that you will all agree that we can do much more in the area of gems and jewellery,” Dr.Amunugama added.
Commending the gem and jewellery exporters’ efforts in contributing to the national economy, he assured that the Government would seriously consider their demands.
“You are all playing a very important role; the Government definitely encourages you. I can give you an assurance that your requests will be heard,” he said.