A long-week Myanmar’s gems fair attracts about 5000 local and foreign traders

Jade block on display at the Mandalay gems expo. Phyo Wai Kyaw/The Myanmar Times. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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NAY PYI TAW, Oct 28, 2019, Myanmar Times. About 5000 local and foreign gem traders are selling raw jade, finished products and jewellery at the Mandalay Gems Emporium, which ends on Tuesday, said U Kyaw Zaw Aung, chair of the organising committee, reported the Myanmar Times.

The event, being held at the Mandalay Convention Centre, charges Myanmar citizens K20,000 (about US$13) for admission, and foreigners K100,000.

The week-long event was organised by the Mandalay Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association in cooperation with the regional government.

“For years, we have wanted to hold a gems expo in Mandalay, as it is Myanmar’s main jade market,” said U Kyaw Zaw Aung. “Only 1500 people from Nay Pyi Taw registered to attend the event as observers or buyers.”

More than 2980 jade lots are on display at the event. An 11 percent tax on extraction of jade and 2pc exhibition service charge are collected from sellers, and buyers pay a 5pc commercial tax. The floor price of raw jade lots is K1 million, he said.

“The jade market is in Mandalay, so selling jade in other places doesn’t make sense because the sellers have to pay transportation and other expenses,” he said.

“By doing businesses where the market is, both buyers and sellers are able to reduce costs,” he said.

Foreigners are not allowed to buy raw jade lots. There are 49 finished gem shops at the expo.

“Mandalay does not produce jade, but jade trading started in Mandalay in the 1970s, and the first successful jade expo was held here,” said Mandalay Chief Minister U Zaw Myint Maung.

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