Thai gem, jewellery exports seen rising in 2016; Bangkok fair under way in confident mood
By David Brough
BANGKOK, September 10, 2016 – Thai gem and jewellery exports appear set for double-digit growth in 2016, bolstered by a steady flow of orders at the Sept. 7-11 Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair which kicked off in confident mood.
The Bangkok fair, which takes place twice a year and is a showcase for silver and colour gemstones, is organised by Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), part of the Commerce Ministry. It is the second biggest show in Asia after Hong Kong.
Thailand is a major hub for processing and export of manufactured colour gemstone jewellery and is known for its expertise in processing rubies, sapphires and other gemstones.
Gems and jewellery are Thailand’s third largest export sector. Thailand is the manufacturing hub of Pandora.
Total exports of Thai gems and jewellery are expected to reach USD$7.9 billion in 2016, up by some 10 percent from $USD7.2 billion a year earlier, driven by an improving U.S. market for Thai gem and silver jewellery exports, as well as tax incentives for manufacturing in Thailand, said Chantira Jimreivat Vivatrat, deputy director general of DITP.
Organisers said zero tax on raw materials imports for manufacturing, had boosted the Thai sector.
The taxation policy aims to enable Thailand to compete, while moving toward becoming a world centre for production and trade of gems and jewellery.
The incentives are aimed at lowering trade barriers.
Retailers from Asia and beyond packed into the show, with footfall brisk throughout the event.
More than 2,100 booths featured in the Bangkok fair, according to the DITP.
Supawadee Yamgamol and Somdet Susomboon of DITP; Jewellery Outlook’s David Brough, and Colin Tuson of Coo Jewellers, U.K. The event is expected to generate sales and purchase orders worth more than 15 billion baht, organisers said.
The show was staged at Impact Challenger, a leading exhibition centre in Bangkok, showcasing a variety of colour gemstones, including rubies, sapphires and emeralds, and predominantly silver jewellery.
The Bangkok fair also presented the latest machine tool and jewellery manufacturing equipment.
A prime driver of the Thai export growth will be the U.S. market as the recovery of the world’s biggest economy gains momentum following the 2008/9 financial crisis.
Chantira Jimreivat Vivatrat said she saw potential for the U.S. market, which at one time represented 25 percent of Thai gem and jewellery exports and currently accounts for around 12 percent, to pick up again.
She also said that the tax incentives offered to the Thai gem and jewellery industry would help boost exports.
Support to Thai industry
Thai authorities are tackling the challenge of a fragile global economy by providing greater support to exporters, helping small and medium sized businesses to access financial support, and encouraging technological innovation.
The gems and jewellery industry is one of the most important industries in Thailand’s economy, employing about one million people.
An interesting feature of the Bangkok fair was the Thai Jewelry Brands exhibition, which presented exquisite Thai gems and jewellery brands developed with the help from experts in New York.
The fair also provided a “Business Matching” service. At least 100 appointments were made by buyers and representatives through the website http://www.thaitrade.com
Other services offered at the fair included a Design Service Society, a one-on-one consultancy service on gems and jewellery designs.