Thai jewellery companies will have an opportunity
to display their wares at the upcoming Baselworld Watch &
Jewelry Show. Thailand, which has been participating in Baselworld
as a country pavilion since 2005, will have a strong presence
at this year's event, to be held March 19-26, 2015 in Basel, Switzerland.
Visitors from the specialist retail and wholesale trade make their
way to Basel from all over the world to discover the current trends
and view the latest creations from the watch and jewellery sectors.
The presentation staged at Baselworld provides an opportunity
to experience world at the topmost level.
Coming hard on the heels of the February Bangkok
Gems & Jewelry Fair, the Baselworld Show gives Thai companies
still another world-class forum, in the first quarter of the yearm
to present the very best of Thai jewels to the topmost echelon
of the international gem and jewellery industry.
Some Thai industries may remain competitive, but
other nations have been doing better in manufacturing. Fot this
reason, Thai industrialists need to increase their efforts toward
adding value to their products, making them more desirable; or
they may have to consider shifting production to offshore locales
to cut costs. Jewellery is a major Thai export and the US is a
major Thai export market, so it should be good news for Thai exports
that Americans have been spending more money on jewellery recently
as the US economy recovers and especially on gold jewellery.
Americans spent $4.8 billion buying jewellery for
loved ones this Valentine's Day, the most in many years. Valentine's
Day is the biggest US holiday for giving jewellery after Christmas,
with more than 8% of the year's sales occurring during February.
About 21% of respondents in a recent survey in the US said they
planned to buy jewellery for this Valentine's Day on February
14, up from 19% in 2014 and the most for many years. US jewellery
demand in the three months ended December 31 was the strongest
fourth quarter since 2009. With the declining US unemployment
rate, consumers usedthe benefits of cheaper fuel and a plunge
in gold prices to push 2014 demand for jewellery made from gold
to a five-year high. Jewellery sales are benefiting from the drop
in gold prices over the last couple of years and increasing confidence
in the economy. People are buying what they had defered over the
past few years.
While Thailand is the Southeast Asian gems and jewellery
hub, Bangkok is not the reginal hub for jewellery retail shopping.
International visitors do not come to Bangkok to buy the full
range of jewellery - brand name lines, diamonds, watches. In fact,
brand name items are rarely seen in Bangkok. This is because of
very high import duties imposed on finished jewellery, diamonds
and watches entering Thailand. The only jewels available in Bangkok
at reasonable retail prices are Thai-made jewellery.
To made Bangkok are international full-service jewellery
shopping hub, it is necessary to greatly reduce the import duties
on jewellery items coming into Thailand. This would encourage
Bangkok to open up to the world-famous brand name lines, which
could then be retailed at prices comparable to Hong Kong and Singapore.
The government's loss of import duty revenue could readily be
made up by judicious application of other taxes on the jewellery
sector, such as VAT and turnover taxes.