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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia to hold first jewellery expo

Cambodia to hold first jewellery expo

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090515_09.jpg

Kingdom will hold first gems exposition next week, amid tight security, as the Kingdom looks to attract foreign buyers

Photo by: Tracey Shelton

Cambodia is due to hold its first jewellery expo in a bid to compete with Thailand, which has suffered from political turmoil.

THE country's first jewellery expo is to run Monday to Wednesday at the Hotel InterContinental in Phnom Penh, with more than 100 security personnel and security equipment deployed to protect exhibits.

Seun Sotha, director of the Ministry of Commerce's Trade Promotion Department, which is organising the event, said the aim is to promote the Kingdom's jewellery market to foreign investors who might be wary of ongoing political instability in Thailand, one of the largest markets in the world.

"Between 30 and 50 large local companies with experience in manufacturing and exporting jewellery will display their goods," Seun Sotha told the Post on Thursday. "We found that expos in Thailand attracted local and international clients, but the political crisis there seems to have caused foreign customers to lose interest. So we are looking at this as an opportunity to get them to come here."

And, although he does not expect the first expo to get many foreign visitors, he said it represents a long-term vision.

"We are encouraging high-class people and businesspeople to visit." he said. "Our vision is to create an international jewellery market. We want our people to make jewellery for the international market, not just the local market."

He said local precious stones are comparable in quality to those found in neighbouring countries. Seun Sotha said Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh would open the expo, which will host a jewellery fashion show on its first two days at 9am and 3pm.

Exhibitor Taing Kim Chheng, who owns the Hong Kong Jewellery Company near Central Market in Phnom Penh, said she was hiring two booths. "Each year we display our jewellery at expos in Thailand, but now that the Commerce Ministry has organised it here, we have an easier way to show our products," she said.

Taing Kim Chheng said her shop exports jewellery to the United States, Australia and France.

"We buy gems from Pailin and Ratanakkiri provinces as well as Thailand," she said.

Chheng Hak, owner of Chheng Hak Stone and Diamond Shop near Central Market, is also taking two booths.

"We are keen to promote handmade jewellery to foreign visitors," said Chheng Hak, whose shop processes gems, gold and diamonds for the local market and for export.

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