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Organisers of 57th BGJF intend to see Thailand as gemstone capital of the world
The Fair will unfold on February 24th
By: Diamond World News Service
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Feb 12 2016 9:06AM
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Reference: 12677  

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Organisers of the 57th Bangkok Gem and Jewelry Fair (BGJF) are scaling the event’s offerings to position Thailand as the gemstone capital of the world. The Fair is slated at the IMPACT Challenger, Bangkok from February 24 to 28, 2016. This year it expects to draw tens of thousands of buyers from all around the world, including the US, EU, Russia, China, ASEAN and the Middle East.

Mr. Somchai Phornchindarak, President of the Gems, Jewelry and Precious Metal Confederation of Thailand (GJPCT), believes the quality of gemstones on offer at the 57th BGJF is higher than at other shows. He mentioned that Thailand has developed an international reputation for the finest quality coloured stones - or Ploi Thai - in the world, and has grown from being just famous for only excavating the precious gems. "Thailand has a hundred-year history with gems," he says, "but now we no longer have our own gems. Ploi Thai is the Thailand country brand; it doesn't matter where the stones come from they are assembled in Thailand. When you think of coloured stones you think of Thailand, that's why we call it Ploi Thai."

He added, "In three to five years time Thailand will become gem hub of ASEAN, but we will not rest there," he says. "I want it to be capital of the world, that's why we are asking for government support."

Recent discussions with the Thai government towards securing zero duty status for the industry - to bring it closer to Hong Kong - are starting to bear fruit, according to Mr. Somchai. Both Mr. Somchai and Mr. Suttipong Damrangsakul, the President of the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA) believe that the government will ratify the proposals before the 58th BGJF in September 2016. "We're 90% there," says Mr. Suttipong. "By September we will have better tools to compete with Hong Kong."

The organising committee is offering accommodation in one of Bangkok's hotels for international visitors. Also, delegates attending the Fair this year have been reassured that Thailand has been given an official clean bill of health by the Ministry of Public Health which stated there has been no outbreak of the ZIKA virus in Thailand.

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