Bangkok–The Thai government is aiming to turn around the performance of its gem and jewelry show in Bangkok, aiming to make it into one of the largest trade events while growing the sector overall.
The Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association organized the last 34 editions of the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, but the event is again being fully run by the country’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), in what the department says is an effort to bolster trade and production of gems and jewelry.
The show continues through Monday at the Impact Challenger event center, located in the Muang Thong Thani section of Bangkok.
Gems and jewelry are Thailand’s third largest export, after automobiles and electronics, and the category is expected to increase 10 percent in export values in 2016 to $7.9 billion, the DITP said, citing numbers from the Global Trade Atlas.
The U.S. market is expected to play a part in this as the region continues to grow and provide opportunity for the Thai gem and jewelry sector, Chantira Jimreivat Vivatrat, deputy director-general of the DITP, Ministry of Commerce, said at the show.
As part of the ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) economic community now, Thailand also is able to offer a zero-VAT incentive for buyers, as the agreement provides for no import and export duty taxes on items traded among the countries involved, helping Thailand compete with other nearby markets and attract more international buyers.
The country also is counting on the rise of the “super-rich” consumer segment to contribute to its expected growth.
The Bangkok show, which seemed to get off to a slow start Wednesday but picked up in visitor attendance Thursday, is comprised of 791 companies, 640 of which are domestic, with the most registered attendees coming from India, followed by the United States, Australia, Myanmar and Japan.
As Thailand is known for its colored gemstones, colored gem exhibitors make up about a third of the show, followed by silver, which also is a strong performer for the country, and then gold, pearls and diamonds, officials said at the show.
Ultimately, DITP said it aims to make the event one of the world’s top three gem and jewelry events by 2018 and will continue to adapt the show based on buyer and exhibitor feedback and attract more international buyers and exhibitors.
But as the event faces competition from other shows, it remains to be seen if and how it will pick up again.
The show takes place just before the Hong Kong gem and jewelry shows, so organizers said they will try separate their event through differentiated product, such as its craftsmanship and silver jewelry.
Organizers also are working to promote young and emerging talent. Recently, the Thailand Ministry of Commerce created a new program to debut pieces from 10 emerging designers to the U.S. market through an event called “Thailand Jewelry — 10 Imaginers.”
The designers showcased their creations in one-on-one appointments in an effort to attract buyers from upscale stores in the U.S.
These emerging jewelry designers also have a presence at the Bangkok show, and organizers said they will aim to build up that section to bring forward more innovative product to highlight the branded side of the Thai jewelry sector.