Thailand’s gemstone and jewellery industry is looking to strengthen cooperation with China to fully tap into the growing China market, Bangkok Post reported.
Somchai Phornchindarak, president of the Gem and Jewellery Association of Thailand, said China’s growing purchasing power is benefitting Thailand, as seen in the rising demand for bigger stones in the country.
Gemstones and jewellery are among Thailand's leading export industries, with a value exceeding $12 billion in 2011 despite a slump in traditional key export markets such as Europe and the US. The growth is attributed to Thailand’s shift in focus to newer markets such as China, India and the former Soviet republics in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Chinese and Thai gemstone and jewellery industry representatives have expressed interest in policies that can foster trade. Thailand will tap into the growing China market, while China’s gemstone industry can learn from established Thai players.
"China has learned a lot from the Thai experience. Thailand's gem and jewellery industry is far ahead of those of China," Lin Qiang, president of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange, was quoted as saying. "We would like to propose a formal way to cooperate."
China had reduced its import duties on raw materials to encourage domestic demand, which has spurred growth in trading volumes for precious stones, while generating higher tax collections for the state coffer, Lin said.
"We want more Thai businesses to set up here and learn the way the Chinese market operates," said Lin, adding that these companies could grow in an incremental manner by starting small and gradually expanding their operations.
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