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Myanmar Gem Show Attracts Some 3,000 Attendees

Mar 11, 2008 8:25 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Approximately 3,000 foreign traders from 20 countries were reported attending the 45th Annual Gems Emporium in Myanmar this week.

More than 7,000 lots of jade, 300 lots of gemstones, and 270 lots of pearl have been put on sale at the show, news agency Xinhua reported. The highest priced item --a 30-kilogram jade block-- could fetch EUR 2.38 million.

The event started Sunday and is scheduled to continue through March 20.

Gem sales and exports from Myanmar, also known as Burma, have remained strong despite the United States and the European Union implementing economic sanctions against the country in protest of Myanmar’s crack-down on demonstrators in August and September 2007. 

Nevertheless, demand from the Far East has maintained the popularity of Myanmar’s gem emporiums.

A November 2007 emporium reported a total of 3,618 lots of jade, gems and pearls worth $150 million. It was estimated that some 3,616 merchants from 16 countries and regions attended from China, Thailand, Singapore, India, Italy, Britain, Japan, and Australia.

Separately, a United Nations special envoy headed by Ibrahim Gambari, special advisor to the secretary general, visited Myanmar this week meeting with government ministers and opposition leader and Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for the past four years.

It was Gambari’s third such visit to Myanmar since September.

The Myanmar government recently announced it would hold a constitutional referendum in May 2008, to be followed by “multi-party democratic elections” in 2010.
Tags: Australia, China, European Union, Government, India, Japan, Myanmar, United States
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