By David Brough
Thailand can boost gemstones and jewellery trade with Hong Kong due to its craftsmanship and manufacturing skills, ready supply of precious materials and tax benefits, combined with increased use of digital tools and social media marketing.
A Jewellery Outlook webinar, sponsored by Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), heard senior representatives of the Thai and Hong Kong jewellery and gems sectors outline future opportunities and challenges in order to beat the crisis created by the pandemic.
Click below link to watch replay:
Hong Kong is a leading market for exports of Thai-manufactured gemstones and jewellery and an important gateway to mainland China.
Thailand will increasingly embrace digital opportunities and social media marketing, including Instagram, to increase trade with Hong Kong, as well as other markets despite the immediate challenges created by coronavirus, panellists said.
The DITP-organised Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, rescheduled to February 23-27, 2021 because of the emergency, will explore digital opportunities to highlight Thai craftsmanship skills and state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities.
The DITP is also organising a special digital event to take place from November 2-4, 2020.
Mrs Chanunpat Pisanapipong, Executive Director of the Thai Trade Centre, Hong Kong, said Thailand offered a unique blend of skillsets, combined with tax benefits and a global reputation for hospitality, to create a perfect setting for gemstones and jewellery businesses wishing to establish themselves in the country, which lies in the heart of ASEAN.
Thailand can attract factories from Hong Kong and mainland China because of its prowess in gemstones and jewellery manufacturing, the availability of precious metals and gemstones, its indigenous jewellery design talent, and tax advantages, said Mr Phuket Khunaprapakom, Managing Director of Gemburi Co. Ltd.
The Jewelry Trade Center (JTC) in downtown Bangkok, which like the Bangkok fair is a major conduit for exports, is working on digitizing its outlets’ gemstones offerings, using all available digital tools including Instagram, said Mr Henry Ho, a leading Thai gemstones entrepreneur. Mr Ho is President of the Bangkok Diamonds and Precious Stones Exchange (BDPSE).
Thai silver jewellery exports will likely benefit from the surge in the gold price to an all-time high this month, with silver relatively more affordable to jewellery consumers, said Mr Kevin Ng, a Hong Kong manufacturer and a member of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council Jewellery Advisory Committee.
Mr Ng also said that he believed some Hong Kong manufacturers could decide to relocate to Thailand to take advantage of the gemstone and jewellery industry’s state-of-the-art operations, supreme craftsmanship skills and favourable trading environment.
The increased opportunities for Thai silver jewellery will encourage innovative and creative combinations of the precious metal with gemstones and unusual materials in designs, said Mr Kenny Au, Deputy Chairman of the International Jewellery Designer Association (IJDA), based in Hong Kong.