World’s largest gold exchange-backed China firm readying int’l gem & jewellery hub in Sri Lanka

Thursday, 26 July 2018 00:34 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen (second from left) discusses with Batcha Gems Colombo Director M. N. M. Ramzeen (far left), Sanmenxia Jinqu Group Chairman Xu Yujin (second from right) and Jinqu Gold Director Leah Wan (far right) on 24 July in Colombo.



A Chinese gold mining giant announced that it is ready to set up an international standard modern gold, gem and jewellery hub in Sri Lanka, adding that such a hub boosts China’s OBOR plans on the country. The Chinese firm, Sanmenxia Jinqu Group, is backed by the world’s largest physical gold exchange, the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

“This is the first ever such foreign facility proposed to be set up in Colombo, and it shall also be an extension of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) plans on Sri Lanka,” said Xu Yujin, Chairman of Sanmenxia Jinqu Group in China’s Henan province. “A modern, state-of-the-art gem and jewellery bourse will uplift Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery sector in many ways, and attract Chinese tourists too,” added Chairman Xu, addressing Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on 24 July in Colombo.  Chairman Xu, joined by Sanmenxia prefecture city’s Vice Mayor Sun Jiwei and Sanmenxia Jinqu Group subsidiary Jinqu Gold Director Leah Wan, was leading a seven-man business delegation to Sri Lanka when he met Minister Bathiudeen in Colombo. Joining the session was Batcha Gems (Colombo 4) Director MNM Ramzeen.  Ramzeen’s Batcha Gems has international offices in China and Japan.

Sanmenxia Jinqu Group is a fully State-owned mining and refining industry giant, based in Sanmenxia city prefecture in Henan Province, which is China’s highest populated province, with more than 100 million people. Henan’s adjoining province is Shandong, where China’s largest gold deposit was discovered just last year in March 2017. “We are partnering with Batcha Gems, a well-known Sri Lankan gem and jewellery supplier in China, for many years. We propose a three-party joint venture with Batcha Gems, the Government of Sri Lanka, and Sanmenxia Jinqu, with an initial investment of $30 million. The main feature is to be a tower or a multi-story building, where the modern bourse will be located. Along with gold, gem and jewellery shops in the bourse shall be Sri Lankan gem and jewellery suppliers, Sri Lankan banks, customs offices, foreign exchange counters, Chinese restaurants, food suppliers, and other Chinese merchandisers. This will be a one-stop shop and a hub for international buyers, shoppers of gold, gem and jewellery in Colombo.” 

Jinqu Gold Director Wan said that the Group is a member of Shanghai Gold Exchange, the world’s largest physical gold exchange. “We also officially represent Shanghai Gold Exchange. The Shanghai exchange is also working to set up the proposed Gold Exchange in Yangon, Myanmar,” she added, presenting the official handbook of Shanghai Gold Exchange to Minister Bathiudeen during the meeting.

Minister Bathiudeen welcomed Sanmenxia Jinqu Group’s entry to Sri Lanka. “Your entry shall bring higher competitiveness to Sri Lankan lapidary, gold, gem and jewellery sectors, no doubt,” he said, and added: “I commend Batcha Gems for their effort to bring in high-profile international investors to Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce is ready to officially partner with Sanmenxia Jinqu Group in this, and I shall discuss with higher levels, including the Finance Minister, on the way forward with regard to the Government’s partnering and equity. This project will also enhance our gem and jewellery exports.”

Last year, Sri Lanka’s exports of gem and jewellery (other than diamonds) to the world increased by 5.3% (in comparison to 2016) to total at $178 million.