As we go to press. The Nation newspaper has run
the following news item, with the byline of Petchanet Pratruangkrai;
"Jewellery, gem industry seeks aid"
"The gems and jewellery industry plans to ask
for the government's support on four main issues in a bid to double
the share of Thai exports of these products in the world market
to 4 per cent within five years.
The proposal is to be made at a meeting on December
4 between Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and chief executive
officers of key industries, mainly in food, gems and jewellery
and services. The The meeting is aimed at voicing private enterprises"
opinions and complaints.
Mr Somchai Phornchindarak, president of the Gems,
Jewelry and Precious Metal Confederation of Thailand (GJPCT) and
former president of the Thai Gem and Jewellery Traders Association,
said his industry was facing four key problems: this industry,
which provides one of the Kingdom's top 10 export products, Mr
Somchai said the government should waive import tariffs for raw
materials for enterprises that aim to re-export. The association
will also encourage the government to waive value-added tax (VAT)
for gems and jewellery sales within the country, as most buyers
are forigners, while Thais normally buy only gold.
The association also wants the govenment to allocate
some funding for R & D in the industry, as well as increasing
skilled labour. During the past five years, the industry has seen
a reduction in workers, particularly skilled laboureers, to fewer
than a million from more than 1.2 million. Mr.Somchai said.
Moreover, the GJPCT will call for the government
to increase liquidity for small and medium-sized enterprises in
the gems and jewellery sector, as they have faced problemed accessing
sofi loans. The government could re-establish the Gem Bank project,
which should be administrated by a private organisation, so that
it will better operated and can release soft loans to help SMEs
in the industry.
If the government can support these plans, Mr Somchai
believes the Thai share of gems and jewellery products in the
world market could double from the current 2 per cent to 4 per
cent within five years. Currently, the global value of gems and
jewellery trading is about US$500 billion a year.
With signs of a recovery in global trading, Thai exports
of gems and jewellery are expected to grow by 5 per cent next
year from this year's approximate value of $10 billion.
In addition, to promote more domestic sales of gems
and jewellery to foreign tourists, the GJPCT will urge the Tourism
Ministry to put Bangkok gems and jewellery fairs on the travelling
calendar, to be held every six months.
The association will also encourage the promotion
of trading streets specialisting in gems, jewellery and ornaments
as symbolic tourist destinations. For instance, Charoenkrung Road
and KZhaosan Road could be promoted as silver-ornaments trading
streets, Yaowarat Road as a gold street, and Silom and Mahesak
as precious-stones streets.
The "Collier Hindou" Tutti Frutti Necklace, created by
Cartier in 1936 for Ms Daisy Fellowes. In 1963, Ms fellows' daughter
autthorized some alterations to the piece. In 1991, the necklace,
together with a pair of carved emerald and diamond ear pendants,
was auctioned by Sotheby's in Geneva, with an estimated of $650,000
to $950,000. The lot sold for $2,655,172, then a record price for
an Art Deco jewel, the buyer being Cartier, who purchased the important
piece for the Cartier private collection - Photo by courtesy of