The coloured gemstone business is a
major upstream sector of the Thai gem and jewellery industry.
Historically, Thailand has long been a gemstone mining country.
Athough today most of the raw materials are imported, Thailand
still maintains its reputation as a coloured gemstone manufacturing
centre and sourcing hub of world importance. Thailand maintains
its position as the top supplier of coloured gemstones to the
United States, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany and Japan.
However, the Thai coloured gemstone industry
is still facing many challenges due to the prolongs global economic
slowdown, which is affecting the US economic recovery, and impending
In considering the competition from Sri
Lanka and India. Thailand's growning economic status could soon
disqualify it for tax exemption when exporting gems to the US
market. Camdodia could continue to retain its tax free trading
status and could overtake Thailand's gem export market in the
United States in the future. This may induce some gems traders
to move their business to Cambodia.
Vietnam is rich in sapphire, ruby and spinel
resources. The output at this stage is limited but there is good
potential for more discoveries. Lao has sapphire. Both countries
may gradually develop their gemstone industries. Economic reforms
and new policies are occurring in Myanmar, following the lifting
of economic sanctions. It is a reasonable expectation that the
Mogok gems industry is likely to expand gradually.
The rich resources of Indonesia, Brunei and
Malaysia will continue to support their substatial grownth. Asian
markets are forecast to continue rising until 2017. Gold prices
driven by the demand of the consumer markets - mainly from China,
India, Indonesia and Malaysia - are forecast to continue rising.
Coloured gemstones will follow the trend even more than diamonds
since they represent an alternative in luxury consumption. The
value is driven by luxury brands as well as the public-listed
companies such as Gemsfield and Truenorth Gems with the aggressive
"Mine to market" marketing strategy. This will benefit
the gem and jewellery industry in terms of value and recognition
Singapore completes with Hong Kong for the
high-end gemstone and jewellery market. Most luxury brands stage
their exhibitions in Singapore, which is also becoming a leading
place for high-stake auctions. Consering the close proximity of
Indonesia as their neutral main financial platform. Indonesia
and Malaysia have but modest gem and jewellery shows at this stage,
and this will change in the future.
Last, but not least, gem and jewellery market
trends toward AEC 2015 are full of challenges and opportunities.
Overall, it is promising to further strengthen Asia as a region
in the global competition of manufacturing and potential markets.