Cambodian government officials yesterday appealed to gem and jewellery industry representatives to improve design quality at the opening of the 6th Gem and Jewellery Fair on Koh Pich.
Seun Sotha, director of the trade promotion department at the Ministry of Commerce, said while Cambodia’s gemstones are of a high standard, would-be international buyers are being deterred by the country’s lack of gem-cutting ability.
“I want to see more local companies and producers start to use machines in design . . . Russia, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and England are eyeing us,” he said.
Khy Sovannara, owner of Heng Chhay Khy Jewellery, an exporter of rubies and sapphires to China, Singapore and Thailand, bought a cutting machine but said manual shaping is still her preferred method.
“I will stick to design by hand as it is more manual,” she said.
More than 80 companies joined yesterday’s trade fair with 40 per cent of those companies coming from overseas.