The official opening ceremony is scheduled for 9.00 a.m. on Tuesday 25 February, with the Minister of Commerce presided.
The February Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair is considered to be the first large fair of the year on the international gems and jewellery calendar, and it has established itself as a world-class event.
The Thai Government is waiving the regular 20% import duty on gems and jewellery sold at the 53rd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair (BGJF). Foreign exhibitors are allowed to bring in and sell gems and jewellery from other countries duty-free, while local exhibitors can reduce their selling prices after cutting down on imported parts and products’ costs. Thus, both local and foreign buyers at the fair can take advantage of 20% savings, giving them additional purchasing power at the Fair.
“We are privileged to have the government working alongside us so directly,” says Mr Somchai Phornchindarak, President of the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association and Chairman of the Gems, Jewelry and Precious Metal Confederation of Thailand. He said the government decision came at the heels of TGJTA’s strong advocacy for a concessional duty rate of 0%, and they are happy to see their request granted. “The government has been with us every step of the way, helping to promote exports was well as developing overseas markets via trade fairs, road shows and exceptional exhibitions. All these changes predict a gleaming future for all,” added Mr Somchai.
The duty-free privilege is considered under a temporary grace period (15 days before/after the BGJF53) for foreign exhibitors at the BGJF53. Products to be covered by the measure are pearls, precious stones and metals, imitation jewellery and coins – all categories that fall under the International Trade Commission (ITC)’s Harmonized System Code, Chapter 71. The import-duty-free incentive can only be availed of at the BGJF53 though, by exhibitors endorsed by TGJTA. Sellers who are not endorsed would still have to pay the standard 20% import duty. Moreover, the regular 7% Value Added Tax still applies to all exhibitors, local and foreign.
The Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair is organized jointly by the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association, and the Department of International Trade Promotion, of the Ministry of Commerce. The Chief Executive Officer of the BGJF Organizing Committee is Mr Suttipong Damrongsakul.
Mr Suttipong said the duty-free privilege would significantly propel Thailand to become the “golden gateway to the gems and jewellery industry of Association of South East Asian National (ASEAN) – a region with a 600 million population.”
The BGJF53 is expected to draw tens of thousands of buyers from all around the world. The bi-annual event is regarded as the world’s fifth and Asia’s second largest trade show in the gems and jewellery market. The fair boasts of gross export revenues exceeding Baht 400,000 million or US$12.8 billion.
A matter of concern to visitors and exhibitors to BGJF53, are the political street protests and marches that have been taking place in Bangkok in January and February of 2014. Fairgoers are advised that the street protest situation in Bangkok has calmed down significantly since the Thai general election on February 2nd, which was held successfully with minimal incidents. Street protests, peaceful and orderly, now occur only sporadically at just a few venues. Protests of this nature will not affect the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, nor the visitors coming to Fair. It should be emphasized that despite international media stories to the contrary, Bangkok is not engulfed in city-wide chaos, nor has it been. For visitors, Bangkok continues to rank among the safest cities in the world.
The Fair organizers are full aware of the concerns of the fairgoers. The security and safety of the Fair, of the visitors, and of the exhibitors is of paramount importance. The organizers are continuously monitoring the situation in Bangkok, and will keep the Fair’s visitors and exhibitors full informed of all that concerns their security and safety.
Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion, through its 62 trade offices worldwide, has been promoting the 53rd BGJF among international buyers and visitors. The objective has been to raise the confidence of international traders as to Bangkok being a viable venue; to relieve concerns regarding the Bangkok protest situation; and to inform visitors of the incentives available to buyers and exhibitors at the Fair. Incentives include:
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