Key speakers and members of the webinar included: Atul Jogani, Thai Gem & Jewellery Traders’ Association; Indian-Thai Diamond & Colorstone Association; Chaipong Niyomkij, Committee Member, The Gem and jewellery Institute of Thailand Committee Member, Ministry of Commerce and Chairman, Chamber of Commerce of Chanthaburi Province (City of Gemstone); Rakesh Gandhi; Group Chairman, SGCCI; Chetan Arun Narake, Hon. Trade Advisor, Thailand Consulate (Commercial), Mumbai and Jigar Doshi, Director, C. Dinesh & Co., Surat among others. G & J industry traders, exporters and personnel from all over the world joined this webinar. It discussed ways to enhance ties between India and Thailand in terms of gems and jewellery.
India ranks first in polished diamonds and second in silver jewellery exports. India is known for its best markets which offer best prices and products from the gems and jewellery industry and these are spread out across the country. India and Thailand have a long standing history of gems and jewellery business. “After understanding markets, study the available products, competitors present, cost of logistics and the next step is to prepare yourself to reach out to the masses in the area you intend to do business in regional language. The marketing material maybe in terms of website, product catalogues, brochures, etc.
After preparing yourself you need to attend trade fairs make an attempt to understand your potential customers and organize ways to meet them and setup design and manufacturing units in areas where you intend to conduct business,” explained Chetan Arun Narake.
Online retail is increasing rapidly in India. Around 20 percent of people in India buy online. The gems and jewellery is growing at the rate of 28 percent from 2019 to 2025. This foretells good business for the G & J industry in both India and Thailand.
Said Rakesh Gandhi, “It is nice to see a lot of similarities and interest shown by Thai jewellers in Indian gems and jewellery business.” Surat is the biggest cutting and polishing centre in the world for diamonds and coloured stones too. The biggest B2B associations and organisations are functional across India. He added, “Surat Diamond Bourse is opening soon here, it will include 4500 offices on its campus. We need to overcome several impediments like trade policy, labour policy and duties imposed by the government and find a way out of these challenges.”
“I was involved in framing FTA between India and Thailand in 2000. The FTA isn’t operational since the past two years. We need to revive the FTA between India and Thailand. I live in Thailand since last 35 years. Indian jewellers are associated with 1.3 people in India. This FTA gives you advantage of expanding your business across ASEAN,” explained Atul Jogani. Thailand is good in colour stones and craftsmanship. It has a colourful culture and so does India.
“The two nations can collaborate by adding coloured stones in jewellery – this will make jewellery more affordable to more and more people. Jewellery manufacturers need to join forces to regain the business lost to other luxury products. Government needs to bring in check and controls to ensure that FTA works in the best way possible. Thailand is looking for a fair play – we are looking forward to introduce coloured stones in our jewellery,” he added.
Expalined Chaipong Niyomkij, “In Chanthaburi, Thailand we have about 2000 entrepreneurs and have gemstone cutting and craftsmanship. We have the biggest trading markets over the weekend. Traders from all over the world to conduct trade here. Chanthaburi craftsmen can help add more colour to your jewellery. There can be a great collaboration between Surat and Chanthaburi province. The global linker is an interesting platform, we can enhance business opportunities for all involved.”
The G & J industry of both nations is indeed promising and has been recognized from across the world. The finishing and design skill in Thailand is indeed commendable. Thailand has emerged as a major player in the G & J market across the world. The logistics facilities are efficient in Thailand. “We would need more open policies from Thai Government. At present in order to open a business enterprise in Thailand we need to have 51 per cent share of a Thai local person as a shareholder – which might prove as a hindrance – we need to resolve this hindrance,” said Jigar Doshi.
The language also acts as a barrier – all legalities also are conducted in Thai language. USD is used in G & J industry in Thailand – Thai Bath has emerged quite powerful and therefore it needs to be used as a more powerful medium of exchange. Also 1:4 is the ratio of employment in Thailand – this may be expensive for MSME sectors. Thailand is ranked number one for export of silver jewellery and third in the export of coloured gemstones.
India is the number one exporter of polished diamonds. This shows that we can together work better – if Thai government shows some openness in the aforementioned matters then Thailand can emerge as the next Hong Kong or Singapore in terms of G & J trade. The webinar was received quite well with 650 plus interested viewers joining in from all over the world.