The Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association re-opened its own gems shops in the Myanmar Gems Emporium Hall on Kabar Aye Pagoda Road, aiming to attract foreign customers in particular.
The renovations of 40 shops at the hall began in March and were backed by K500 million (US$500,000) from the association’s chair, prominent tycoon U Tay Za.
The site is also supposed to be the location of a laboratory to assist the gems and jade trade, though details on its construction are still scant.
Mogoke U Than Maung, an entrepreneur owning a gems shop at the hall, said his rental fees are K800,000 per year. “These gems shops are intended to access the international market through jade transactions,” he said.
Despite already having paid rent up front, shopkeepers have requested a rent-free month of December in order to connect with tour companies that transport foreigners.
U Mya Han, chair of the Association’s Information and Relations Committee, said the laboratory service is still a work in progress, but should be complete by early 2015.
The association’s experts have received training in Hong Kong and Japan, and two experts are expected to move here from Hong Kong.
“It will be the association’s own laboratory and we have considered the cost to be fair,” he said.
Source: MYANMAR TIMES