Ambassador, Dr. Palitha Kohona was invited as the guest speaker at the China International Gem and Jewellery Exhibition in Beijing on 16 March, 2023. The other dignitaries present were; former Minister of the Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources and president of Gems & Jewelry Trade Association of China Song Ruixiang, former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Land and Resources and former President of Gems & Jewelry Trade Association of China Xu Deming, President of Gems & Jewelry Trade Association of China and Chairman of National Gemstone Testing Centre Ye Zhibin, Vice President and Secretary General of Gems & Jewelry Trade Association of China Bi Lijun. Ambassador Kohona was assisted by Minister Counselor/ Commercial Nalika Kodikara and Commercial Assistant Liu Xia..
The exhibition covered an area of approximately 30,000 sq. meters and many gems, jade and jewellery merchants participated. Many of the exhibits were in the luxury category. Sri Lanka was represented by AR Gems, NN Gems, Ceylon Sapphires International, Zam Gems, Domico Gems and AR Divine Gems.
In his address at the opening ceremony, Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona stated, “Today, as we seek to extricate ourselves from the financial crisis, we are seeking to promote Chinese tourism to Sri Lanka. We are seeking Chinese investments in Sri Lanka. We are seeking to enhance Sri Lanka’s exports to China, including more of our fabled gems. Your presence here encourages me to invite you to focus on Sri Lanka, especially on our rich array of gems. I have noticed the widespread interest in Sri Lanka and its products, especially in our glittering array of gems. Our gems have attracted the attention of traders, kings and emperors since time immemorial. Especially in China, Sri Lankan sapphires are highly sought after. No wonder that we are known as the capital of the Blue Sapphire."
Embassy of Sri Lanka
17 March 2023