Thailand: A land with an opulent tradition in silver jewelry manufacturing
Located in Southeast Asia, beautiful Thailand has successfully evolved from a primarily agricultural country to a country that has a large manufacturing, export, tourism and financial industries.
Rich in natural resources, Thailand has a robust mining industry. Besides tin, zinc, tungsten and marble, the country is rich in silver, rubies and sapphires which has led to its success as a jewelry manufacturing and wholesale power in the region, fast taking on India and China, even though they remain in stiff competition.
Throughout Thailand, world-famous silver craftsmen have been manufacturing items like trays, ladles and bowls for many centuries. Today, Thailand’s artisans are known for their finely crafted jewelry and high-quality silver. The silver mostly comes from the northern regions of the country and is often just short of 100% purity.
Some of the early settlers of Thailand were Hindu and they brought with them their metal-crafting skills. Their influence was mostly used on their preferred metal – gold – and other native populations picked up the intricacies of their designs. Today, these same techniques are used to design beautiful silver jewelry in modern and also marcasite designs.
The size of the industry
The jewelry manufacturing sector continues to provide work for millions of people. They are employed across and extensive network within the industry, including mining, gem cutting, design, manufacture and trade.
Thailand had an exceptionally successful 2019 when it came to jewelry exports, and revenue from luxury jewelry is expected to grow by 5.9% in 2020, to US$168 million. The industry has definitely benefitted from the US trade war with China as the U.S. has become one of the biggest markets that it exports to. Other buyers include Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Quality products as opposed to quantity
Thai manufacturers have an excellent reputation for producing exports of the highest quality and are also known for offering top service to their customers. Intricate pieces set with some fine gems show the skills and craftsmanship of these manufacturing companies. If China and India offer quantity, Thailand offers quality.
Growing global trade
Roughly 70% of the raw materials used for the manufacture of wholesale jewelry in Thailand now need to be imported. This includes metals and gem stones which are usually brought in as rough stones.
Financial incentives and support
The jewelry manufacturing industry has been well supported by the Thai government and other industry bodies because of the revenue that it brings home. Some of the raw materials are exempt of import duties and some products are given tax benefits during the biannual Jewelry fairs held there.
The commercial zone of Bangkok, where most of the manufacturing and trading takes place, is located in the Suvarnabhumi zone and is known as Gemopolis. The area hosts over 140 companies and they have certain benefits in the industrial free-zone area. These include exemption of corporate income tax, exemption on dividend income for a period of 4 to 7 years on manufacturing and other tax exemptions. The companies in the region can also be 100% foreign-owned, they can bring family and experts to work there, and remit foreign currency. Pandora is one example of a foreign company that has successfully started a manufacturing plant in Thailand, but is Danish based.
The Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Trade Fairs
Twice a year, in February and September, international buyers flock to Thailand to see over 2,500 exhibitors from Thailand and around the world. Thailand steadily keeps its place among the top ten exporters in the world and top place as far as its craftsmen and quality are concerned.
Local success stories
The Hong Factory has a long history of success in Thailand. The family-owned jewelry manufacturing and wholesale business has been operating continuously since 1971 and are one of the oldest jewelry manufacturers in the country. Their famous jewelry range encompasses many bespoke and trendy designs that are personalized and affordable. Their business partners have been coming back for decades to ensure that they offer their customers some of the finest Marcasite, ODM and OEM ranges on the market today.
“Our international customers have known the quality of our work since our inception. In those first years we concentrated on marcasite silver jewelry. Since then, we have modernized and concentrated on introducing new technologies in jewelry design. These new technologies and our superb team are what give us the advantage to produce high-quality exports, keeping Thailand ahead of its competitors.”
Tuanghong Roipaeng, owner of Hong Factory.