Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Gemopolis: Thailand's new Gem Shopping Paradise

Thailand GemsWhen the Suvarnabhumi Airport opens travellers will have a new shopping area within easy reach, the Gemopolis Mall, a jewellery centre in Prawes District that is scheduled to open early next year. Gemopolis Mall is part of Gemopolis or gem city that comprises 70 jewellery manufacturers, mostly European and American, who have received privileges from the Board of Investment. Built at a cost of 800 million baht, it is just four kilometres from the new airport which is slated to open sometime later next year. Operating as a jewellery retail centre, it will bring manufacturers and buyers face-to-face and pull in a large number of tourists as well because Thailand is recognised for its craftsmanship in jewellery throughout the world.In the first phase 38 units will open, followed by 28 later. Gemopolis Mall hopes to tap the reputation of Thai designers who have bagged several awards at international competitions and are adept at cutting and polishing diamond and handling exquisite details. Because of their cheaper labour Thailand can't compete with China and India, so it is channelling its energy on producing high-end jewellery and ornaments where margin for profit is higher. Apart from the Gemopolis Mall, there is a Gemopolis factory outlet - already operating - where tourists can buy everything from rings, bracelets and necklaces to ear rings, pins and watches etc, at prices 30 percent lower than what is offered by conventional stores, says Pariya Charuworn, its deputy managing director. Factories in the Gemopolis industrial complex manufacture for export. They don't have a retail outlet. The Gemopolis outlet provides them that chance. It's already drawing buyers and tourists to Prawes. Apart from high-quality jewellery at attractive prices, they can tour a diamond-cutting factory and enjoy an exhibit of precious stones. Source: Bangkok Post

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