JEWELS Sri Lanka 2012, International Gem, Mineral and Jewellery Fair, is scheduled to be held on 7th, 8th and 9th December 2012 at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. The Fair will be organized by the National Gem and Jewellery Authority in collaboration with the Gemmologists Association under the guidance of the Ministry of Environment.
Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Environment, states that this international trade exhibition is organized with a view to showcasing local small and medium scale gem and jewellery manufacturers to the international market and making Sri Lanka the international gem and jewellery hub. The Minister also says that the Fair is expected to uplift the small and medium scale gem and jewellery dealer community under the guidance of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse, according to the Mahinda Chinatana Vision for the Future.
Mr. Prasad Galhena, Chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority says that the Authority is tasked with promoting, developing and regulating gem and jewellery industry in terms of section 14 of the Gem and Jewellery Authority Act No. 50 of 1993. JEWELS Sri Lanka 2012 will boost the local and foreign demand in these sectors under the guidance of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse and the Minister of Environment. The Chairman further states that he will work towards achieving these objectives by holding exhibitions and trade fairs locally and overseas and by providing incentives for it. Mainly two local exhibitions are conducted in Sri Lanka and Facets Sri Lanka is one of them. It is organized by the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Traders Association, and the National Gem and Jewellery Authority has been sponsoring the event from its inception.
Mr. Galhena points out that nevertheless JEWELS Sri Lanka 2012 International Fair is organized for the second time by the initiative of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority with full financial assistance with a view to providing exposure of international trade fairs to those engaged in the local small and medium scale gem and jewellery sector.
The sale of trade stalls has already begun and the stalls can be reserved from the JEWELS Sri Lanka 2012 Secretariat located at the National Gem and Jewellery Authority premises. Already leading local and foreign gem and jewellery dealers have reserved trade stalls in this exhibition. Mr. Nimal Bandara, Director General of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority, states that over 250 foreign buyers from many countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, California, Russia, Singapore and China have expressed their interest to attend the event. He further says that a special move has been put in place in order to secure the attendance of many buyers from some European countries that had not transacted with Sri Lanka before.
This fair is conducted in three halls of the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall complex. The Authority has decided to allot 100 stalls in Hall A to large scale gem and jewellery dealers, 30 stalls in Hall B for education programmes aimed at expanding knowledge on jewellery sector and assisting freshers to the field, and 70 stalls in Hall C free of charge to hitherto unfocused small and medium scale entrepreneurs full of talent yet having economic difficulties, who have been identified to represent all provinces in the island.
The JEWELS Sri Lanka 2010 was held with all its glory and splendor and the National Gem and Jewellery Authority expects that the event this December will draw crowds exceeding the previous fair by more than 50,000 attendees from the general public and that it intends to give a valuable gem with the entry ticket as a memento for each attendee.
Mr. Prasad Galhena, Chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority, further stated that 2011 was the golden year of gem and jewellery exports and the first half of this year has seen exports worth 297 million US Dollars, achieving an increase of 35% over 2011. As such, Mr. Galhena predicts that Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery exports will see a record growth with year 2016 hitting the 1000 million US dollar mark in annual exports.
Special arrangements have been made to ensure the security of the attendees and the Gem and Jewellery Authority intends provide insurance cover for their tickets for the first time. Children coming in school uniforms will be admitted free of charge and a special programme is underway to raise the schoolchildren’s awareness on the gem and jewellery sector.
Both local and foreign media personnel have been invited to provide media cover for the event. The main sponsorship for the fair will be provided by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board and it will be co-sponsored by the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, the People’s Bank, the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, Fedex Express, Sri Lankan Airline, the Tourism Board, the Mount Lavinia Grand Hotel, Printcare, Ranpath etc.
Government institutions such as Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Board of Investment will make their contributions for the event.
The Gemologists Association of Sri Lanka also plays a pivotal role in promoting the gemological sector. Enhancing the knowledge on gems, introducing the experts in the fields of gem cutting and jewellery designing, highlighting talent and creating a surge of interest in the field by triggering competition through a series of contests including photographic competitions, and thereby promoting the gem and jewellery sector are expected through the exhibiting of gems found in Sri Lanka. The exhibition will also be promoting the Diploma in Gemmology, which regularizes education in the field.
A special fashion show will be the highlight on the first night of the Fair while the next two days will feature a special study tour on gem and jewellery industry organized for foreign buyers.