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Thai Jewel Makers Advised to Adapt

31 Jan 2024

Thai jewel manufacturers should pay attention to the sustainability and environmental aspects of the business

Thai jewellery producers need to focus more on sustainable manufacturing as customers are increasingly interested in the ethical and environmental aspects of the business, says the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) or GIT

While designs and skills to polish uncut jewels are the main selling points of the Thai industry, companies should heed sustainability concepts, said Sumed Prasongpongchai, director of GIT, an agency under the Commerce Ministry.

Their manufacturing processes should meet standards set by the Responsible Jewellery Council, also known as RJC, the global membership and standards body for responsible jewellery throughout the entire supply chain, from mining to retail.

This means Thai jewellery companies must run their businesses with responsibility and think more about ethical and environmental issues, said Mr Sumed.

"Thai entrepreneurs need to accelerate their sustainability efforts," he said.

"Only a small number of Thai companies have been granted RJC certification."

Deputy Commerce Minister Napintorn Srisunpang said the government is aware of the need to promote business sustainability.

Entrepreneurs should disclose their processes for acquiring raw materials and producing jewels to show the transparency of the supply chain, he said.

Manufacturers also need to design products that can be worn by both sexes and in a variety of contexts, said Mr Napintorn.

The deputy minister expects the "boho-chic" style will be the ornament fashion trend for 2024, which features creativity, flexibility and colourfulness.

Customers are also interested in silver, pearls and ornaments made from natural materials this year, he said.

Mr Sumed said he expects jewellery exports to vary little from last year, with the sector driven by sales of gold and gemstone products.

From January to November last year, the value of Thai jewellery products was US$8.25 billion, a year-on-year increase of 9.81% from 2022, according to the Trade Policy and Strategy Office.

Hong Kong was the largest export market, followed by the US and India.

Exporters should seek new markets to expand their customer base, especially in the Middle East, he said.

Thais own 47.1% of companies in the country's jewellery industry, officials said.

(For the excerpt, acknowledgement and thanks to the Bangkok Post)

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