FOREIGN merchants have to deposit 50,000 Euros in order to take part in the 53rd Myanmar Gems Emporium that kicked off yesterday, according to the Ministry of Mines.
The deposit rate for foreign traders has been increased five-fold for the 53rd emporium from the previous 10,000 Euro deposit required for the previous event.
The deposit rate has been raised to help avoid price manipulation and to make sure sales prices are fair for traders during the sales according to Director-General U Win Htein of the ministry.
Despite higher prices being offered in the previous emporia, no payments were made by foreign buyers, he added.
According to the director-general, sales at a previous emporium touched one million Euros. However, the emporium lost more than 3 million Euros as deals were broken due to buyers failing to complete their purchases.
The 53rd Myanmar Gems Emporium was opened in the Mani Yadana Jade Hall in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday in the presence of Vice President U Henry Van Thio accompanied by Union Ministers Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe and U Ohn Maung.
The Vice President and party observed pearl displays on the ground floor of the hall and preparations for the tender process and sale by auction as well as gems shops.
The gems emporium scheduled to come to an end on 6 July with a total of 6,939 lots of jade, gems and pearls going on sale.
Of 6,062 jade lots, 5,896 with reserve prices of 4,000 to 200,000 Euros per item will be sold through the open tender system while 166 will be sold at the reserve price of 200,001 Euros or more per item at auction.
Of 512 lots of gems, 353 are being sold at a reserve price of 500 to 20,000 Euros and will go on sale through an open tender bid while 159 lots with reserve price of 20,001 and above will be sold by auction.
The ministry has stated that it is planning to take action against mining companies that fail to follow environmental regulations abolishing their licenses. New, blocks for gem mining will be allowed when the formulation of environmental conservation measures are completed.
Thein Ko Lwin with Myanmar News Agency