On behalf of the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA), a top-level ICA delegation signed a letter of intent with the government of the Chinese province of Hunan to establish a national manufacturing and training center for colored gemstones and jewelry in the province's capital, Changsha.
This agreement will also facilitate the promotion of colored gemstones, jewelry and minerals throughout China. Also, ICA President Wilson Yuen also signed an agreement for the joint organization of the ICA's annual Congress in 2013 to be held in Hunan. The Letter of Intention was signed by the ICA and Gemfields plc with the Changsha National Economic and technical Development Zone.
"This is an extremely significant breakthrough for the ICA and the colored gemstone and jewelry industry," said Mr. Yuen. "The Chinese authorities are very keen to see the establishment of a colored gemstone and jewelry center in the country, and the government of Hunan province has agreed to put in place ambitious plans that will see this happen in the near future. "Chinese jewelry buyers are showing a strong preference for items set with colored gemstones, recognizing the versatility they provide from a fashion viewpoint, and this joint venture will create a large manufacturing base," Mr. Yuen explained.
"Taken together with the ICA setting up its international headquarters in Hong Kong earlier this month, these are exciting times for members of the ICA. " Mr. Yuen added.
The signing ceremony was also attended by Benjamin Mchwampaka, the Assistant Commissioner for Minerals at Tanzania's Ministry of Energy & Minerals; Jean-Michel Roux, Regional Director, Greater China, Swarovski Gems; Gabriella Endlin, Director, Cut and Polished, Gemfields (Zambia emerald and Mozambique ruby mine) England; Gavin Pearce, Director, Tanzanite One (Tanzanite Mine) South Africa; Lu Li Qian, Executive Vice President, Shenzhen Shuibei Jewelry Colored Gemstone Centre, China; Anthony Zhan, CEO of Palladium Alliance International; Richard Willis Hughes, Senior Vice President, Sino Resources Mining.