The government will work together with local jewelers to raise interest and create a market for processed Myanmar gemstones and jewelry made locally, U Phyo Min Thein, Chief Minister of the Yangon Region Government, said during the opening ceremony of the Yangon International Gems and Jewelry Fair.
The inaugural fair, which was held between January 11 and 14, drew some 5,000 people, around 12 percent of which were foreigners, officials said. The aim is to build up a popular jewelry market to showcase and allow trading in local processed gems and jewelry.
More importantly, international buyers will be able to enjoy a Myanmar product and at the same time the government receives more revenue from trading locally mined gems and domestically produced jewelry.
Now, the government will encourage yearly Yangon exhibitions of processed gems such as rubies, sapphires and jade as well as locally made jewelry to add value to the stones and create new markets for local entrepreneurs.
International buyers can buy processed gemstones and jewelry at the exhibition, said U Aung Myint, vice-chair of the Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association. The value-added Yangon International Gems and Jewelry Fair this year will be Myanmar’s first step towards becoming an international-standard gems and jewelry market.
To further improve the quality of local gems and raise awareness, the Gemological Institute if Myanmar (GIM) opened in Junction City Tower, Yangon on Sunday. Equipped with a lab and research centre,The GIM faculty will consist of retired professors, local and foreign gem experts and members of the Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association.
GIM will offer courses in gem education, jewelry design, gem and jewelry management as well as photography. Meanwhile, the lab will provide testing services for the stones as well as grading services to determine prices.
GIM will also issue Gem Lab Certificates, which previously had to be obtained abroad. Now, the lab will issue certificates and help identify real and fake gems as well as detect colour-enhanced and synthetic gems and determine the origins of the stones.