Two Sri Lankan government officials and officers from the American Gem Trade Association on Friday signed a memo of understanding to help design and build a gem testing laboratory in Sri Lanka. This lab would have the level of expertise and facilities to produce gem reports with the same integrity as the AGTA’s Gem Testing Center in New York.
According to Richard Greenwood, president of AGTA, over the past three years AGTA has been working to develop a Sri Lankan gem lab. Representing the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka and its associations were Mr. Peiris, Minister of Industry and Constitutional Development, and Mr. Ranjit Fernando, Minister of Enterprise Development, Industrial Policy, Investment Promotion, and Constitutional Affairs.
The signing today gave the official go-ahead to begin assisting the Sri Lankans in developing a gemological testing center in Sri Lanka. “It’s a long-term process,” says Greenwood: People will be coming to the U.S. to be trained, equipment must be purchased, and laboratory facilities must be built. AGTA and Sri Lankan trade associations have the full cooperation of both the U.S. and Sri Lankan governments, says Greenwood. The U.S. government is in favor of improving the local economy, especially with an American laboratory. Today’s signing also has the full support of the AGTA membership. As Greenwood notes, AGTA is looking forward to good things coming from this in the near future.