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The lab of the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand                                                                     Image credit: GIT

The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT), a Public Organization recently held discussions with representatives from the Thai Bankers' Association and the gems and jewellery industry to request cooperation from banks on soft loans to increase firms' liquidity in exchange for retaining workers during the crisis.
Many entrepreneurs’ request for soft loans has been turned down by banks as luxury products come with high risk during an economic slowdown. Meanwhile, other financial institutions are also not willing to provide loans to the industry.
As Thailand's gems and jewellery sector is badly hit due to the pandemic, exports are likely to decline this year. Gem and jewellery exports make up the third-largest export category by value. The industry employs more than 700,000 workers.
Last year, gems and jewellery exports including gold topped $15.7 bln, up 30.3% from the previous year. Excluding volatile gold, shipments fetched $8.09 bln, up 6.3% in 2018. Thailand’s key export markets included ASEAN, India, the Middle East and Hong Kong.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished