Gems emporium sales switch to dollars from next year
SALES at Myanmar gem emporiums will be conducted in dollars from next year, according to U Than Zaw Oo, chair of the Gems Emporium Organising Committee.
“Starting from the mid-year emporium [in 2017] it will be arranged that gem sales are in dollars rather euros,” he said. The 2016 mid-year emporium kicked off in Nay Pyi Taw on November 20.
U Than Zaw Oo told The Myanmar Times earlier this month that plans were being made to switch currencies now that most of the US sanctions against Myanmar have been lifted.
Euros are harder to acquire in Myanmar, and are only used in the gems industry, he said, adding there would likely be more transactions under a dollar-based system.
The committee had tentatively hoped that sales could be in conducted in dollars at the 90th Gems Emporium, which runs un November 20 to November 29.
But switching currencies requires coordination between banks and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, of which U Than Zaw Oo is also deputy director.
U Tun Hla Aung, secretary of the Myanmar Gems Merchants Association, said, “It is not convenient to change from euros to dollars right now and some aspects still have to be prepared, such as the bank to bank system [for sale transfers].
The first Emporium to have sales in dollars is expected to be the 91st Emporium, scheduled for November 2017.
– Translation by Zaw Nyunt
A potential buyer appraises a block of jade.