President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that the government’s prudent decisions over the past two years have bolstered the nation’s economy, providing a favourable environment for political activities on the streets.

However, he cautioned that the economy still faces challenges, urging citizens to weigh the choice of either continuing with the government’s initiatives for prosperity or risking regression.

Highlighting a remarkable increase of over 50% in government income in 2023 compared to 2022, President Wickremesinghe underscored the conducive backdrop for advancing confidently with a robust economy.

These remarks were made during his attendance at the inauguration of the International Gem and Jewellery Trade Centre, known as the Ratnapura Gem Tower on Thursday (04).

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The President emphasized the government’s commitment to further enhancing the gem and jewellery industry’s contribution to the national economy. He instructed officials to compile a report by the end of April outlining potential solutions to industry challenges and proposed reliefs for industry stakeholders and stressed the importance of ensuring benefits for gem miners as part of this initiative.


Plans have been shown for the construction of the Ratnapura Gem Tower in Demuwawa area of Ratnapura, to be executed in two phases. The initial phase saw the completion of a five-story building, costing Rs. 365 million.

The forthcoming second phase entails the construction of an additional 14 floors, with an estimated expenditure of Rs. 450 million.

The newly inaugurated International Gem Trade Centre comprises 27 business premises, with 17 allocated to local entrepreneurs and 10 designated for foreign counterparts.

Financing for this venture is sourced from the National Gems and Jewellery Authority, aiming to establish an international hub facilitating seamless transactions between sellers and buyers.

Functioning akin to renowned sales centres in Bangkok and Hong Kong, the centre will offer comprehensive services including independent quality testing, laboratory facilities, and banking and export services. This initiative aims to bolster the gem and jewellery trade, positioning Ratnapura as a pivotal player in the global market.

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