August 21, 2016

Myanmar needs to break into the European markets, say jade dealers

Traders evaluate jade stones during an emporium in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA
Traders evaluate jade stones during an emporium in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNAg

More than the sole reliance on the Chinese jade market, efforts are required to break into European markets as well in order to protect Myanmar’s jade market, say sources in the jade trading industry.
In order to revive the domestic jade market by breaking into European markets, jade dealers exclaim that more needs to be done to clamp down on illegal jade exports and highlight a lack any technology within the country to produce finished jade products.
“If we could cut jade like the Chinese, it would probably secure a market with foreign tourists who come on holiday to Myanmar. But, it’s still very difficult to procure such technology in the country which would allow for this to become a reality,” said U Kyaw Thu, a jade dealer from Mandalay.
He added that if Myanmar could produce cut, finished jade products, it would allow jade produced domestically to secure trade with European markets, while the primary buyers of jade around the world are reportedly Chinese tourists.
“Since we only have the capacity domestically to produce uncut jade, it’s all exported to China. China then cuts the jade into finished products which it sells across the world. Those who want to purchase jade also travel to buy it in China, so their jade market is booming,” said U Myo Myint Naing, a jade trader.
Talks have previously been held with Chinese cut-jade producers on establishing such enterprises within Myanmar, but expensive land rental prices and an erratic electricity supply has hindered any such ventures from coming to fruition, say jade dealers.
The Southeast Asian nations of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, together with China, all possess natural jade deposits, but the majority of the world’s highest quality jade is reportedly found in Myanmar’s northern Kachin State region of Hpa Kant.—Myitmakha News Agency


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