Monday, July 28, 2008

Vietnam's gem, gold and jewelery exports rise

(26-07-2008)

Customers browse gold jewellery at a shop on Dinh Tien Hoang Street. Gem, gold and jewellery exports in July reached $255 million, double the figure of the first half of the year. — VNS Photo Truong Vi

HA NOI — Gem, gold and jewellery exports in July jumped to US$255 million, double the figure of the first half of the year, according to statistics from the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The GSO reported that the results helped lift the country’s commodity exports in the first seven months of the year to $607 million, six times higher than the same period last year.

Previously, the Government has not allowed the export of gold, only gold jewellery. Every year, domestic firms export roughly $30-40 million worth of jewellery to markets, including the United States, France and Germany.

However, director of the Agricultural Bank’s Gold Trading Company, Nguyen Thanh Truc, said last month that several gold businesses were licensed to export gold at roughly 1-1.5 tonnes each.

With the regulation banning gold exports, the imported gold was kept inside the country, particularly in residences, banks and gold shops. This was believed to partly lift the country’s trade deficit.

Up to 95 per cent of gold consumed in Viet Nam is imported yearly. The country in the first five months of the year imported roughly 40 tonnes of gold.

Therefore, with gold exports, experts expect the country can reduce its trade deficit, which hit $15 billion in the first seven months of the year.

Thanks to the gold export regulation, Truc said the Agricultural Bank’s Gold Trading Company had so far earned an export turnover of $30 million, of which $16 million came from gold exports.

To boost exports of the gem and gold industry, the Viet Nam Gold Trading Association said the industry should focus on developing a brand name and acquiring modern technology to increase the export of jewellery. — VNS