July, 25, 2018
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, Sanmenxio 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, the Chairman of Sanmenxio 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 Yujin addressing the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 24 July in Colombo. Chairman Yujin, joined by Sanmenxio prefecture city’s Vice Mayor Sun Jiwei and Ms Leah Wan, Director of Jinqu Gold (a subsidiary of Sanmenxio Jinqu Group) was leading a seven-man business delegation to Sri Lanka when he met Minister Bathiudeen in Colombo. Joining the session was MNM Ramzeen, Director of Batcha Gems, Colombo 4. Ramzeen’s Batcha Gems has international offices in China and Japan.
Sanmenxio Jinqu Group is a fully state owned mining and refining industry giant based in Sanmenxio 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 Sanmenxio Jinqu with an initial investment of US $30 Million. The main feature is to be tower or a multi-story building where the modern bourse will be located. Along with gold, gem and jewellery shops in the burse shall be Sri Lankan gem and jewellery suppliers, 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 Ms Wan said that the Group is a member of Shanghai Gold Exchange-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 Sanmenxio 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 Sanmenxio 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 US $178 Mn.
PHOTO - Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen (second from left) discusses with MNM Ramzeen (Director -Batcha Gems, Colombo -far left), the Chairman of Sanmenxio Jinqu Group Mr Xu Yujin (second from right) and Director of Jinqu Gold Ms Leah Wan (far right) on 24 July in Colombo.