Strong Crowds, Good Business at Bangkok Fair

Despite the world’s economic crisis and political unrest in Thailand, the number of visitors to the 42nd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair was about the same as the previous edition of the show, according to show officials.

Vichai Assarasakorn, president of the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association, estimated that business worth 30 billion baht ($882 million) was conducted during the five-day fair, which represented about 15 percent of Thailand’s total gems and jewelry exports. 

The event showcased what continues to be the growth of Thai gems and jewelry exports, which in the first half of this year surged 30 percent year-over-year to nearly $1.9 billion. Major markets with the largest growth rates were the U.S. (26.7%), Hong Kong (279.8%), and India (37.5%).

According to Assarasakorn, TGJA has received staunch support from the Thai government, which despite some changes, has remained committed to a series of policies that will give an impetus to the growth of Thailand’s gems and jewelry industry.

In addition, the effort to penetrate targeted markets—such as the Middle East, Russia, China, and India—in collaborative trade efforts, received a boost as a result of the show. The number of visitor from these targeted markets have increased dramatically in 2008.

“The launching of Design Pavilion will be the first step towards changing the status of BGJF in its quest to become an international gems and jewelry hub,” said. Somchai Phornchindarak, chief executive officer of the Bangkok Fair, who devoted a prime space to set up the pavilion—when new jewelry design creations were displayed. More than 100 pieces from more than 80 Thai and international jewelry designers were chosen to inaugurate the pavilion.

“We were pleased by the buyers and visitors response and turnout at the 42nd BGJF,” Somchai said. “We are continuing to evolve the fair in response to the need of both buyers and exhibitors especially in the field of trade participation.”

The 43rd edition of the fair will be held Feb. 25 – March 1, 2009.