The 65th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair began as scheduled on Tuesday, defying the coronavirus outbreak that prompted the postponement of a similar trade show in Hong Kong until May.
The result is the Bangkok fair is the only big gem and jewellery event to take place in Asia during this period, drawing potential buyers from overseas in search of product sourcing and business networking, said Somdet Susomboon, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department.
The Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair is normally staged in parallel with the Hong Kong Jewellery Show in early March.
This year's fair runs through Feb 29 at Impact Muang Thong Thani.
The goal is to demonstrate the potential and strengths of the country's gem and jewellery industry while opening new opportunities for entrepreneurs to meet and trade with buyers from around the world.
The event is estimated to draw at least 10,000 visitors, with trade volume worth 2.4 billion baht.
"Overall sentiment at the fair is more active than expected, with most of the 2,500 foreign wealthy buyers and importers who registered in advance still joining the event despite the Covid-19 outbreak," Mr Somdet said.
Most participants are from India, the CLMV region (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam), the Middle East, the US, China and Europe.
Mr Somdet said the department has coordinated with the Public Health Ministry's Disease Control Department and related agencies to implement preventive measures against the virus in exhibition areas.
He said local gems and jewellery remain in demand because of their good craftsmanship, design quality and comprehensive production process from upstream to downstream. Courtesy - Bangkok Post