‘Japan emerging as great market for Sri Lankan gems and jewellery’


The opening ceremony of the 27th International Jewellery Tokyo (IJT) 2016, where Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Japan-- Prof Ganganath Dissanayake (2-L) and other officials took part in.

Text and pictures by
Hiran H.Senewiratne in Tokyo

With the economic recession taking hold in Japan over the last few years, Sri Lankan gem and jewellery institutions' participation in related events in Japan was limited to two booths.Sri Lanka conducted 10 to 12 booths before the recession. This number would increase significantly with a revival of the Japanese economy, International Sales Director Reed Exhibition, Japan, Satoshi Watanabe said.

"At one time Sri Lankan buyers' and exporters' participation was very high but due to the economic recession over the last few years such participation was not substantial but will increase many fold in the future as the Japanese economy is on the recovery path, Watanabe told the Island Financial Review at the 27th International Jewellery Tokyo (IJT) 2016 opening ceremony. The event was organized Reed Exhibitions Japan, which is the largest event management company in Japan in this sector.

He said that with the dawn of peace in Sri Lanka many Japanese are willing to visit Sri Lanka to purchase gemstones because the Japanese economy is now picking up and their disposable income is also moving up in a significant manner.

Watanabe said that the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Authority together with IJT has a good rapport to promote Sri Lankan gemstones in Japan, which has a very high quality. "I think over the next year there will be more and more Sri Lankan stalls because Japan is going to be a great market for Sri Lanka, Watanabe said.

Director, Export Services and Marketing Rohan Perera said that over the last few years the Chinese market had a boom while there was a slowdown in the Japanese market.

"With a slowdown in the Chinese economy and a recovery in the Japanese economy from recession, market demand for Sri Lanka gemstones will increase many fold in Japan, he said.

With the recovery of the Japanese economy many Sri Lankan exporters will focus on Sri Lanka in the future because at one time it was a top buyer of Sri Lankan gemstones, he said.

Perera said that Japan is a very complicated export market due to quality standards. Therefore, gems and jewellery are the only products that Sri Lanka could export to Japan without any issues, because they are high end, up market quality products, he said.

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