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Thai gems and jewelry industry international concerns over Thai political situation;affirm no impact to 53rd BGJF
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News Release

Thai gems and jewelry industry assuage international concerns over Thai political situation;affirm no impact to 53rd BGJF

- GJPCT and TGJTA urge international exhibitors and buyers to be confident in the Thai gems and jewelry industry
- Protests in Bangkok are peaceful and protest sites limited to the inner city, faraway from the BGJF fairground
- Thai Government assures restraint, instructs police to use non-violent measures, military vows noninvolvement

January 13th 2014, Bangkok, Thailand – The Gems, Jewelry and Precious Metal Confederation of Thailand (GJPCT) and the Thai Gem and Jewelry Trader Association (TGJTA) would like to jointly respond to numerous concerns expressed from overseas partners and buyers of the ongoing anti-government political protest in Bangkok and the "Shut Down” campaign by anti-government protestors and state catagorically that these issues will bear no impact on preparations for the upcoming 53rd Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair (BGJF).

International news media reports and travel advisories issued by several countries have painted a worrisome image of the ongoing protest and suggest that the situation may be widespread. The GJPCT and TGJTA would like to stress that this is completely untrue. Both organizations, that represent the largest gems and jewelry organizations in Thailand and Southeast Asia, would like to assure all international buyers, exhibitors and visitors that ongoing protests in Bangkok are, overall, democratic and very peaceful.

All preparations for the 53rd BGJF, from February 25 to March 1, 2014 – with the theme "Freedom of Trade” promoting the newly granted Duty Free status for the world’s top five gems and jewelry fair, thus abolishing the 20% import duty for all gems and jewelry products within the 15-day grace period either side of the show. Without the cloud of the looming political protest, the 53rd BGJF intends to be one of the best gems and jewelry trade fair ever as both international and local exhibitors and buyers will benefit greatly from the lifting of various trade barriers.

Our friends, who are familiar with Thai politics over the past decade, will know that the pictures and reports on television by the international media make it look as if the entire country is blanketed with chaos. While in reality, this is not true, life goes on as normal. The famous Thai friendliness and passive nature prevails. The only problem affecting anyone is the worsening traffic on protest days.

The biggest event planned by the protestors is the "Shutdown Bangkok” operation scheduled for Monday, January 13th 2014, where protestors will occupy several intersections to create what they call "popular public noncompliance” and disrupt the government’s administrative workflow. This will no doubt, disrupt traffic and business transaction on that day.

In front of the Jewelry Trade Center (JTC) building, where the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA) is located, in the center of Silom and Mahesak intersection and the gems and jewelry district of Bangkok, there has been no protest action at all.

Regarding the 53rd BGJF, the Organizing Committee would like to assure that Bangkok is as safe as ever and everything is currently normal. To assure greater confidence in safety and security, the 53rd BGJF’s security measures will be impeccable with hundreds of guards in uniform and non-uniform comprising of police, military and security officers. There will also be hundreds of CCTV cameras and other measures to ensure safety of exhibitors and visitors to our fair. As with every BGJF, our security is second-to-none and we take all precautions to safeguard exhibitors and visitors safety and convenience.

Moreover, IMPACT Challenger Halls, where the BGJF takes place, is located in the north of Bangkok nearly 20 km away from downtown, with highly accessible expressway that connects all parts of Bangkok and the Suvarnabhumi International Airport within a 45 minute commute.

The GJPCT and TGJTA will continue to monitor the situation closely and will issue relevant updates of any potential threat immediately in the unlikely case the situation intensifies further. We also advise all our members, exhibitors and visitors to avoid all political gatherings and protest sites. We also urge everyone to assert extra care while commuting around Bangkok city and to avoid Ratchadamnoen Road and the protest sites. Unless you deliberately join the protest, there should be no problems at all.

Lastly, the 53rd BGJF will be held From February 25th to March 1st, more than one month away. In all likelihood, the political situation will return to normal by then.

We deeply appreciate all our friends and partners overseas for your letters and emails encouraging and expressing your concern for us. Thank you kindly for your consideration.


Sincerely yours,

Somchai Phornchindarak
Chairman, Gems, Jewelry and Precious Metal Confederation of Thailand
President, Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association
Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand. 44/100 Nonthaburi 1 Road, Bang Kra Sor, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand Tel. +66 2547 4254 e-mail:tiditp@ditp.go.th
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