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TRADE NEWS


Thailand looks to the future

Thailand looks to the future

19 December 2013

By Karen Nuckols

Looking to the future was the unofficial theme of the 52nd Annual Bangkok Gem & Jewelry Fair held in September at the Impact Exhibition and Convention Center.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony opened the 52nd Annual Bangkok Gem & Jewelry Fair.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony opened the 52nd Annual Bangkok Gem & Jewelry Fair.

Organized by the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA) in cooperation with the Department of International Trade Promotion of the Thai Ministry of Commerce, the fair is one of the top five largest gem and jewellery shows in the world. Some 40,000 visitors and buyers from 125 countries visited the show to see the products displayed by the event’s 1,800 exhibitors.

The crowds wait to enter the Bangkok Gem & Jewelry fair on the first day.
The crowds wait to enter the Bangkok Gem & Jewelry fair on the first day.

The majority of exhibitors were from Thailand, and many featured silver products. Not surprising since Thailand is the world’s largest producer of silver jewellery. The fair again showcased a special section of silver jewellery, with designs ranging from simple sterling silver earrings to elaborate gemstone-studded necklaces.

Multi-gem necklace by Blue River.
Multi-gem necklace by Blue River.

Also featured were one-offs in sterling, such as the pieces sold at the stand of Thai brand, Goldlip. Spokesperson Petra Wolbeek noted she had an excellent show, mostly because all of Goldlip’s jewellery is one-of-a-kind. “People crowded in the first day to get the best choices, “ she said.

Silver pendant in blue agate druzy, blue topaz, and blue and pink sapphires, with black rhodium and 22K gold plating by Goldlip.
Silver pendant in blue agate druzy, blue topaz, and blue and pink sapphires, with black rhodium and 22K gold plating by Goldlip.

The Design Pavilion, located in the show lobby, was also a popular destination for buyers. The theme this year was “Technology Affecting Nature.” Samai Tocharoen, Director of Public Relations for TGJTA, elaborated: “People of today perceive and consume nature that co-exists with science and technology, creating the next evolution of nature.” The pavilion was co-sponsored by the TGJTA and the Department of Industrial Promotion of the Thai Ministry of Industry.

Rubies by TC Mining.
Rubies by TC Mining.

In addition to silver, the second largest category of exhibitor was dedicated to gemstones, which were abundant. Buyers could find everything from melee to large stones of every description.

Attractive Buyer Incentives

The fair’s organizers have established a number of on-going initiatives to increase the participation of international vendors and buyers at future events while, at the same time, making it easier for the jewellery trade in Thailand to do business abroad.

A variety of earring styles in 925 sterling silver, from classic to whimsical, by Topaz B.K.K. Co.
A variety of earring styles in 925 sterling silver, from classic to whimsical, by Topaz B.K.K. Co.

First and foremost of these initiatives is the waiving of the 20 percent import duty on items brought into Thailand for display and sale at the fair. The Bangkok fair is one of only two duty- free shows in Asia. Introduced in August, there is a 15-day grace period before and after the start of the fair for products to be brought into the country. These include precious stones, pearls, and metals, coins, and imitation jewellery.

Diamond and sapphire earrings by Beverley K.
Diamond and sapphire earrings by Beverley K.

Somchai Pornchindarak, President of the TGJTA, explained, “For the first time ever, our international exhibitors are able to offer for sale their imported gems and jewellery products at duty-free prices.” Foreign exhibitors can now also sell their goods at lower prices and Thai vendors can keep prices low thus providing buyers from around the world more purchasing power at the fair.

Suttipong Damrongsakul, CEO of the Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair, further expanded upon the importance of waiving the import duty, “We want to make the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair more international by having more exhibitors from other countries. Of course, this will attract more buyers to our show because they will have a wider choice of goods.“

Diamond jewellery by Mahallati.
Diamond jewellery by Mahallati.

Exhibitors agreed that the duty-free policy would help increase the number of both buyers and vendors at the fair. Mohammed Mahallati, COO of Mahallati Co., Ltd., a diamond jewellery manufacturer based in Bangkok, stated, “The 20 percent duty free policy is a good start to help grow the show. It gives buyers more incentive to come to Thailand and not just attend the Hong Kong show. Any time you do something to help the customer, more will come.”

Silver and Swarovski Marcasite pendant by Monplaisir.
Silver and Swarovski Marcasite pendant by Monplaisir.

The second important initiative aimed at strengthening Thailand’s position as a gem and jewellery hub was the Zero VAT Pavilion where buyers were exempt from paying the seven percent value-added tax on rough gems and raw materials imported into the country for manufacturing.

The third factor to enhance the popularity of the fair was the continuation of the Business Matching Service. This service helps foreign buyers locate and communicate with exhibitors before the fair. Once at the fair, buyers have the opportunity to preview suppliers’ profiles and products prior to selecting those to visit. At the same time, vendors get the chance to understand buyers’ needs and prepare offers in advance.

A fourth incentive to attract overseas buyers was the offer of a free three-day, two-night hotel accommodation for first-time visitors, which was appreciated by those who took advantage of it. “This was a particularly good incentive,” says Avi Layani of Topaz B.K.K. Co. LTD. “We need new buyers since we have a lot of merchandise to offer here.”

Gemstone and silver earrings by Beauty Gems.
Gemstone and silver earrings by Beauty Gems.

Importance of ASEAN+6

The second annual ASEAN+6 gem and jewellery presidents’ summit was held during the fair. It was moderated by Suttipong Damrongsakul who announced a sub-committee comprised of representatives from Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, and South Korea that would follow up on various agendas discussed at the two summits.

“As the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) opens in 2015, it will be a new market of 600 million people… with a very high capacity for the regional gems and jewellery industry,“ said Damrongsakul, who added that this market would help shore up lagging sales in Europe and the United States. He went on to add that, as part of AEC, the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry fair could become a very effective link to the world and vice versa.

Sapphire, diamond, and ruby rings by Pranda
Sapphire, diamond, and ruby rings by Pranda

Of special interest at the fair was Pranda’s celebration of its 40th Anniversary. In honour of the event, the Thai brand sponsored an evening event in which employees demonstrated their design skills known as the Pranda Process, the core values instilled in and reflected by all employees. Also on exhibit was jewellery from a number of the brands for which Pranda manufactures.

“For the past 40 years, the Pranda Group has accomplished the impossible in the jewellery world. We are able to mass produce fine quality jewellery products that were once achieved only through the handmade process by highly-skilled master goldsmiths,” observed Mr. Prida Tiasuwan, Chairman of Pranda Group. “By being able to meet the global mass demand for consistence in high quality jewellery, we are truly the master of mass craftsmanship and have changed the old perception that commercialized jewellery could never be beautiful and long lasting.”

The branding of Thai gems and jewellery included the release of an updated edition of “Thailand’s Best Gems & Jewelry Guide Book,” a comprehensive directory of members of the Jewel Fest Club (JFC). Founded in 1997, the JFC has the support of the TGJTA and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Its objectives are to: promote customers’ confidence in Thailand’s gem and jewellery trade; set the standards of retail business in the industry; educate consumers; and solve the problems caused by the fraudulent practices of some retailers. Consumers can look for the Jewelry Fest Club logo in shop windows to be assured of a satisfactory buying experience.

Buyers’ Comments

“This event is really wonderful to see,” said Hatim Motiwala, owner of Burhani Jewellers Dazzling Creations and Maimoon Collections Co., Ltd in Mumbai, India. “The beautiful designs also tell us about the trends. Compared to other countries, Thailand offers a better opportunity for us to meet the good sellers and buyers. Basically, if you come here for four days, you can find everything.”

Ms. Maret Viljoen, owner of Viljoen Juweliers Co., Ltd in South Africa was thrilled to be at the fair. “I am very excited about the event. It’s a good place to explore things from the rest of the world, an eye opener for the rest of the industry.”

“We come here because we want to see what’s happening inside Thailand and get good trade information on stone vendors that are only available in Thailand,” said John Croston, Vice President of Manufacturing for David Yurman in Hong Kong. “Here you have certain specialties and certain cuts that are only available here. Thailand is the capital for sapphire and corundum. Not being here is a mistake because Thailand is different from some other nations. It continues to expand the labour pool with training and apprentice programs that really help the jewellery industry.”

Carved lion sculpture by KdeCraft.
Carved lion sculpture by KdeCraft.

As various government agencies and the fair’s organizers continue to work together to help Thailand look to the future, the fair will continue to grow. Next year’s 53rd edition will be held February 25 to March 1, 2014.

www.bangkokgemsfair.com

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The 56th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair - 30 September 2015
Beautiful in Bangkok - 13 October 2014
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Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair: quality and more - 13 May 2014
The 53rd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair will be proceeding as scheduled - 11 February 2014
Thai government lifts import duty on gems and jewelry at 52nd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair - 30 August 2013
Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair - Thailand’s world of silver - 28 May 2013
Creative Design – Thai Style - 20 December 2012
Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair’s Gold Jubilee Edition - 26 June 2012
Accent on design at Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair - 20 March 2012
The 49th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair - Feb. 9- 12 , 2012 - 2 December 2011
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The 48th Bangkok Gems & jewelry Fair (BGJF) is scheduled from September 14 to 18, 2011 - 1 July 2011
The 46th Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair opens tomorrow. - 6 September 2010
Positive Optimism Marks the 45th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair - 13 April 2010



 

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