Thai-made jewellery as one of the leading products from the country
Thai-made jewellery as one of the leading products from the country.
Ms. Banjongjitt Angsusingh, DG, DITP
The Director General -DITP, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand
- How does Thai jewelry fare in international markets? What are your suggestions to increase Thai’s jewelry exports?
Thai jewelry has long been recognized among buyers and consumers in markets worldwide. Gems and jewelry remains one of the top three leading exports of Thailand. And in 2018, the country exported almost U$12 billion’s worth of products, or 5% of all exports from Thailand to the world.
While the country has long served as a source for gems and a manufacturing base for international jewelry companies, the future is starting to look brighter for Thai jewelry brands, artisans and designers. In order to facilitate the competitive advantage of the Thai jewelry industry, the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) has launched Thailand’s Magic Hands, a global campaign aimed at gaining international recognition for the Thai gems and jewelry industry. The campaign reiterates strengths of Thailand’s gems and jewelry industry at the international level, connecting the spirit of jewelry making to the traditional way of life and advanced skills of making intricate creations. The Magic Hands Campaign is set to increase awareness as well as exports of the country’s gems and jewelry products.
Thailand’s Magic Hands theme will also be featured during the 63rd Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair (BGJF) held by the DITP, on 20 to 24 February 2019 at Impact Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok, Thailand.
- At the juncture, you are staring to be world Gem & Jewellery Hub, are there any tailwinds?
With Thailand’s strong background in gems and jewelry manufacturing and trading, combined with the efforts from the government to support and promote the industry through a variety of measures, I am certain that there is still room for growth in the gems and jewelry sector. Throughout the last few years, exports from this industry (excluding unwrought gold) has steadily improved in both volume and value. In 2018, Thailand’s gems and jewelry export has outperformed in major markets such as Hong Kong, the United States, EU and China. Meanwhile, more investors are putting their trust in the skills of Thai artisans and workers by setting up manufacturing hubs for international brands right here in Thailand. On the academic side, we have GIT, the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand, serving knowledge and technical support to Thai entrepreneurs. All stakeholders are putting their efforts to uplift the industry to the next level. I believe that, with close cooperation between the public and private sectors, Thailand can truly become a World Gems and Jewelry Hub in the near future.
- what are the strengths of Thailand’s designing & cutting edge jewellery manufacturing?
DITP recognizes the importance of innovation in design and manufacturing. Thus, one of the highlights in this edition of the upcoming BGJF is the Innovation and Design Zone (IDZ), a showcase and a marketplace of start-ups and partnerships with institutions that focuses on innovation. This zone will feature innovative jewelry in several groups from fine jewelry, form & techniques, material, research, to technology and tools. Some highlights are INTHAI jewelry which utilizes unique technique of bamboo-woven crafts, and PIROON Jewelry that is made from paper clay. Visitors can also discover the latest designs from leading universities as well as 12 innovative Thai jewelry brands.
- What do you offer to cater a new Millennials?
Millennials are among the gems and jewelry’s growing target consumers as they have spending power which cannot be overlooked. As they are more tech-savvy and looking for something specially customized, products in BGJF’s special showcases will surely suit their needs. I would recommend them to visit BGJF’s Niche Showcase to seek designed jewelry sets that cater to their styles, may it be Luxe Men, Beyond Jewelry or Spiritual Power. They should take a look at “the Jewellers” zone to find modern, futuristic jewelry that utilizes new material and/or production techniques. I am certain that everyone will find at least a piece that uniquely matches his/her personality at the upcoming fair.
- We are in the era of Hyper Competition. In the context, how do you, being a DG (Director General), encourage internal trade to be a competitive in the world & to attain a sustainable growth?
The Royal Thai government has continuously promoted the gems and jewelry industry. Measures issued by the Cabinet shows support to propel Thailand to become the world’s Jewelry Hub through various measures from providing ease of doing business and tax incentives, strengthening the gems and jewelry industry and expanding market channels.
To achieve the ambitious goals, both the public and private sectors have joined hands to steer the industry forward accordingly. The Board of Investment (BOI), a public agency responsible for investment promotion offers tax and non-tax incentives for both Thai and international companies looking to invest in industries that are beneficial to the country, including the gems and jewelry sector. On the other hand, there is Gemopolis, a private agency specifically promoting gems and jewelry investment by offering a Free Zone in the vicinity of Bangkok where investors are entitled to tax incentives as well as other incentives.
To strengthen competitiveness of the Thai gems and jewelry industry, the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) has devised 2 approaches. First is to equip Thai entrepreneurs and designers with relevant skills to better tackle international markets. This has been achieved through a series of knowledge seminars and workshop, focusing on product development and finding marketing niches. Second, DITP organizes Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair (BGJF) twice a year as a marketing and trading platform to showcase latest products and services. BGJF serves as a stage for Thai exhibitors to source and network in the industry where they may increase their knowledge and gain inspiration at the fair.
- Being a key global player of semi-precious stone, how do you look at synthetic stones?
With new technology and innovation making synthetic stones more marketable, I think synthetic stones will open new possibilities to those in the jewelry manufacturing industry. Many large players worldwide have already unveiled their plans to sell more jewelry made with synthetic stones this year, and I think it’s also an exciting opportunity to see this kind of new product in the market as well as feedback from consumers. We have a few lab-grown diamond companies exhibiting at the Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair, thus buyers will have more sourcing options. However, as Thailand is one of the sourcing hubs for colored gemstones, I believe that BGJF visitors expect a comprehensive range of authentic precious and semi-precious stones which are carefully selected by experienced local and international exhibitors.
- Being a key host of Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair, How would you push the show to a new scale in future?
The DITP is determined to make each BGJF more memorable and more exciting for visitors, while increasing its efficiency as a trading platform for domestic and international gems and jewelry companies. Some key attractions at the 63rd edition of the BGJF include our signature special exhibitions like The Niche Showcase as well as New Faces at the show.
• The Niche Showcase featuring up and coming jewelry pieces of emerging themes namely:
- “Heritage & Craftsmanship” Jewelry with an emphasis on craftsmanship
- “Spiritual Power” Jewelry of belief and opulence
- “Luxe Men” Jewelry for men
- “High Jewelry” Rare jewelry piece from the past
- “Beyond Jewelry” Lifestyle items decorated with metals and precious stones.
• The New Faces: a showcase of Thai SMEs manufacturers and designers with intricate craftsmanship from across the country. Some of these 120 exhibitors have never joined the BGJF (prior to the 60th edition).
• The Jewellers exhibition and workshops from designers who have participated in the Designers’ Room and Talent Thai project.
• Innovation and Design Zone (IDZ) showcasing innovative jewelry businesses and start-ups to develop commercial uses and seek business matching partners
• Seminars to give knowledge to Thai gems and jewelry businesses to expand to international markets by experts from Thailand and abroad in topics ranging from raw material, jewelry trends, marketing, to gem certification
- How can the 63rd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair 2019 be a win-win for both exhibitors & visitors?
Exhibitors at the fair are encouraged to showcase their best products as well as display products that match the themes of the special showcase in each exhibition zone to increase exposure to visitors and buyers. Meanwhile, buyers can participate in many of our networking activities and business matching sessions to meet exhibitors, increasing their opportunity to trade with participants at the fair. The BGJF also offers numerous facilities to visitors and exhibitors to ensure the ease of doing business, with services ranging from on-site interpreters, shuttle buses, business lounges, to workshops and seminars on topics such as trends, marketing, and regulation in the gems and jewelry business.
- How would you rate Thai-made jewelry in the international markets?
For many years, Thailand has been well recognized among major players in the gems and jewelry industry as quality and reliable manufacturer of jewelry with beautiful designs and intricate craftsmanship. Yet, it is our challenging task, of all the stakeholders including DITP, to constantly develop their skills and products while seeking innovation and design that will uplift the Thailand gems and jewelry industry to new heights. Besides being a trustworthy OEM partners for global brands, the world starts to see more of unique jewelry pieces from young and competent Thai jewelry designers, i.e., SARRAN and Ong Jewelry Design, whose jewelry collections are highly welcomed among Hollywood actresses and niche market lovers. Thus, I am convinced that Thai-made jewelry, especially more Thai jewelry brands, is going stronger in the international markets.