Leading investors in gem industry welcome 2015 Budget

Monday, 10 November 2014 00:19 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 2015 Budget proposals relating to the gem industry have been welcomed by local businessmen and foreign investors alike, with the initiatives seen as potentially adding a new dimension to the industry. Ratnapura Lanka Gemstones Ltd., (RLGPL), a subsidiary of Gemfields Plc, a global leader in the coloured gemstone industry with a proven track-record of lifting growth and transparency in the gemstone sectors of several countries, said: “The announcement made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa represents a momentous step towards strengthening Sri Lanka’s standing as the leading global island of gems.” Specific proposals for the industry in 2015 Budget included reduction in service fee imposed by the Gem and Jewellery Authority to 0.25% of FOB value; establishment of a gem and jewellery processing zone and gem trading centre in Ratnapura to further the Magampura Ruhuna Development Plan and increased focus and support of the Government to the gem industry. RLGPL welcomed the announcement as it would offer global players easier access to Ratnapura’s fine gems, as well as bringing significant benefits to the local gemstone producing communities in terms of increased access to global trade and value enhancement. RLGPL noted that while a reduction in the amount of duty charged on exports would support export volume growth and transparency, the establishment up of a gem and jewellery processing zone and trading centre in Ratnapura could also help in boosting gemstone tourism and further Sri Lanka’s reputation as one of the world’s leading gemstone hubs, aiding the overall development of the Magampura Ruhuna region. RLGPL said that it hoped to play an important and supportive role in furthering Sri Lanka’s ambitions for the gemstone sector. RLGPL was recently incorporated as a BOI registered gem trading company in Sri Lanka. The company is in the process of setting up its trading operations now.