Prospects for Thailand's gems and jewellery exports remain promising this year, boosted by several positive factors including an upswing in prices of silver jewellery and robust demand for solid gemstones like rubies and sapphires.
Gemstone transactions have surged, attributed to the restoration of international travel to pre-Covid-19 levels and renewed consumer confidence following an extended period of reduced shopping activity during the pandemic.
According to Sumed Prasongpongchai, director of the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand, Thailand's gems and jewellery exports excluding gold are anticipated to grow by around 10% this year, reaching US$8.84 billion.
Coloured gemstones have recorded significant growth and are expected to expand by more than 100% this year, with Thailand acting as a trading hub for this segment.
"Despite a somewhat sluggish domestic economic situation and major trading partners such as the US and Europe stagnant, we have diligently sought out new markets to replace them, such as Saudi Arabia and Dubai in the Middle East. This year, we are collaborating with Dubai, which is regarded as a hub for the gold and diamond industry, to expand our export market," he said.
Exports of gems and jewellery including gold ranked third last year in terms of total shipment value, trailing automobiles and auto parts, and computers and parts.
Excluding gold, gems and jewellery represented the country's ninth-largest export product.
In 2022, gems and jewellery products (excluding gold) generated $8.03 billion, up 30.3% from the previous year, accounting for 2.8% of the total export value. Key export markets included the US, India, Hong Kong, Germany and the UK.
In the first half of 2023, exports were valued at $4.34 billion, marking 11.9% growth year-on-year.
In a move to boost gem and jewellery exports, the International Trade Promotion Department, in partnership with nearly 20 governmental and private sector agencies, yesterday announced the 68th edition of the Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair, a long-established trade fair scheduled to take place between Sept 6-10 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.
This fair will showcase the growth of Thailand's gems and jewellery industry on the global stage, featuring more than 1,100 exhibitors in 2,400 booths, covering Halls 1-8 of the venue's G and LG levels.
The fair is expected to draw more than 30,000 visitors from around the world and generate over 3 billion baht in revenue.