Travel news - shopping in Thailand

Gemopolis mall to bring jewellers, buyers together

Gemopolis, the nation's first industrial estate for gems and jewellery, will open a factory mall with a duty-free shop in August.

Suttipong Damrongsakul, assistant managing director of IGS Plc, which operates the Gemopolis Industrial Estate, said the firm expected to generate income of between Bt3 billion and Bt4 billion annually.

Gemopolis is located just four kilometres from Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is expected to open for operations in the first quarter of next year.

"We hope that when the airport opens, Gemopolis will be a convenient alternative for tourists," Suttipong said.

The factory shopping mall will be located on 170 rai of land and include 50 gem and jewellery factories.

It will also include two separate shopping areas and have 70 SME outlets.

Gemopolis plans to become a one-stop manufacturing and trading area for gems and jewellery in the next five years.

The company hopes to be a retail base for small and medium enterprises in the near future.

Sutthipong said the factory mall would give small companies access to foreign buyers for the first time.

The duty-free shop will attract tourists who want to buy gems and jewellery of export quality and get VAT refunds.

He said more than 80 per cent of Gemopolis is occupied by foreign companies that export to Europe, the United States and Australia. The companies hope to receive more privileges from the Bank of Investment in eight years.

"We account for about a 20-per-cent share of all gem and jewellery exports out of the Kingdom," Sutthipong said.

"We would like the government to support our plan to be a centre for gems and jewellery in the country as it will attract more tourists and more income."

Hugh Van Es, managing director of H&A Cutting Works Ltd, said all of his company's diamonds were exported and he expected to get more trade privileges as well.

The managing director of Pandora Production Co Ltd, manufacturer and exporter of sterling silver and gold jewellery, said the company would expand its factory in July so that it could handle more orders.

Petchanet Pratruangkrai

The Nation Published on June 03, 2005

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