“International award-winning Pure Gold’s arrival can boost our gem and jewelleries sector exports. We will be able to link our jewellery sector’s value addition directly to exports,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 2 August.
Minister Bathiudeen was responding to strong interest expressed by Pure Gold Jewellers (PGJ) to set up operations in Sri Lanka.
PGJ, an ISO9001:2008 certified retail jeweller of the Middle East, has more than 100 stores across UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar and its coverage now includes India. PGJ Chairman Firoz Merchant had already announced that PGJ would be on a $ 272 m expansion drive during the next five years and the company would enter Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Malaysia with new stores.
“Pure Gold Jewellers (PGJ) is a top supplier to the Dubai Duty Free. Also among the services offered are the ‘exclusive gold and diamond concessionaires’ at the prestigious Abu Dhabi International Duty Free as well as in Kuwait Duty Free at the International Airport in Kuwait. It is the only ‘exquisite gold and diamond jewellery store’ in the Duty Free of the Muscat International Airport, Oman. Pure Gold is also at the Queen Alia International Airport of the Duty Free of Jordan and at Hurghada Airport of Egypt. PGJ will also present at the Qatar airport when it is opened at end of 2012,” said Merchant, in a written communiqué.
Among awards won by PGJ are 2007/08 Best Service Performance Brand in Large Business Category, 2008/09 Best Service Performance Brand In Large Business Category, 2009/10 Best Service Performance Brand Award in Large Business Category, 2010’s Best in Customer Service as per Ethos Consultancy Survey and the Best Service Performance Award 2011.
“My Ministry is facilitating the jewellery industry development through initiatives such as funding the Die and Mould Centre of the Moratuwa University, and its prototyping and incubator facilities. Jewellery exports also bring the highest value addition in diamonds, gems and jewellery exports. In 2011 we exported over US$ 28.7 m jewellery, which rose by 55% from 2010’s US$ 18 m, and the US, Hong Kong and Belgium being our top three buyers out of 39 countries bought from us in 2011. If we can successfully link Sri Lanka’s jewellery supply chains to such multinationals as PGJ, we stand to enhance the much-needed international recognition for our jewellery industry,” Bathiudeen added.
Of US$ 10.9 b of Sri Lanka’s total exports in 2011, the diamonds, gems and jewellery sector claimed 4.9% at $ 531.57 m, registering a strong 30.04% growth in comparison to 2010 exports ($ 408.77 m).