Thailand to boost technical capacity in Myanmar gemstones industry

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THE Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association (MGJEA) has released its plans for neighbouring Thailand to become involved in partnerships within Myanmar’s gemstone industry under the new NLD-led government.
Previously, China has been the only foreign country to have a presence in Myanmar’s gemstone industry, but an inaugural study visit by the Thai Geological Institute of Thalam (GIT) to the Myanmar’s gem-rich Mogok region on 22 March of this year indicates changing times.
“[Myanmar] needs to work together with Thailand, primarily in regard to technology, in order to heighten the quality of Myanmar’s gemstones. There will be cooperation with Thailand within extractive industries for the foreseeable future,” explained U Hpone Myint Aung, vice chair of the MGJEA.
GIT comprises members from the Thai Ministry of Commerce as well as academics and gemstone entrepreneurs. The delegation arrived in Myanmar with the aim to invest in technology and machinery that would allow for mutually beneficial joint operations within Myanmar’s gemstone industry.
“We would be able to provide assistance in showcasing Myanmar’s precious stones at gem and jewellery stores in the Thai capital of Bangkok. There can also be collaboration between businessmen [from both countries]. We also want to help in light of the falling market for Myanmar gems in China. When comparing the value of Myanmar gems with those in the world market, the latter is of more interest,” said GIT’s chairperson. Myanmar’s Ministry of Mines prohibits foreigners from conducting extraction or commercial activities within Myanmar’s gemstones industry, though it allows them to purchase stones from gems and jewellery sale emporiums, according to the MGJEA. The MGJEA also stated that Myanmar lacks the technological capacity to break into the world market and is currently in a position whereby it can only produce uncut gem stones.

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