7th Myanmar Gems Expo from 24th March

Yangon: The 7th Myanmar International Gems, Jewellery and Watch Expo 2017 will be held at Myanmar Gems Trade Centre in Yangon from March 24 to March 27.

The expo will feature 50 booths from 11 countries and territories – Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Vietnam, Germany, the United States, Italy, Israel and India – and including Myanmar, said Michael Khaniss Jand, managing director of Asia Connect which organises the expo.

Germany and the US will display their latest jewellery-crafting technologies this year. During the event, raw gemstones, finished products, rubies, sapphires, pearls and jade will be available for purchase, and Myanmar’s gemstones will also be included on display.

Furthermore, JA New York Show, which is scheduled on March 26, will provide an explanation of US visa processes for Myanmar gem traders who will be attending the gem expo in New York.

Myanmar has taken part in international gem shows such as those in the United States before sanctions were imposed by the American government. Since sanctions against Myanmar’s jades and gemstones sector have been lifted, local gems traders can now take part, again, in gem shows in the US, said U Tun Hla Aung, secretary from Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Federation.

He said Myanmar traders should take part in international events so they can have the benefits of learning new technologies about gems and the jewellery industry.

Myanmar’s government currently prohibits exporting raw gemstones but allows finished products to be sold during local and overseas gem trade fairs. Myanmar’s first International Gems and Jewellery Expo was held in May 2013.

At that time, Dr Aung Kyaw, managing director of Golden Palace Jewellery, told the Myanmar Times that the domes tic industry was 50 years behind those in other countries.

“Our country has plenty of natural resources, but we have never held gems and jewellery expo before. It will provide many opportunities to connect to the international market. “We lack technical expertise so we invited companies with first class technology from the United States, Italy, India and Thailand,” he said at that time.

In 2017, the Expo will have expanded to include a lot more countries and regions. Last year, the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) arrived in Myanmar for the first time to assess the gems sector and build trade relationships ahead of an anticipated end to the US sanctions regime, which would allow the legal import of Myanmar rubies and jade.

The association’s president Jeffrey Bilgore then said that the US can technically start importing gemstones right away when the sanctions were lifted. “However, it’s going to be a bit of a process in terms of the supply chain, and that’s something we’re here to look at and help develop,” he told the Myanmar Times.