Myanmar will hold a gems emporium in March targeting mainly at merchants abroad in a bid to earn foreign exchange earning, according to state-run press on Monday.
Domestically produced quality gems, jade, pearl and jewelry will be displayed and sold through competitive bidding and at fixed prices at the 43rd annual gem show scheduled for March 15, the New Light of Myanmar said without disclosing the value of gem items to be put on display.
In the last annual event in March 2005, 29 million US dollars worth of locally-produced quality gems items were put on sale in the presence of nearly 600 merchants from 25 countries and regions, most of whom were from China, China's Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan.
Myanmar started to hold gem shows annually in 1964 and since then the country has earned a total of over 500 million dollars from such events including the mid-year ones introduced since 1992 and the special sale since 2004, according to official statistics.
Myanmar, a well-known producer of gems in the world, possesses nine gems -- ruby, diamond, cat's eye, emerald, topaz, pearl, sapphire, coral and a variety of garnet tinged with yellow.
There are three famous gem lands in Myanmar -- Mogok in Mandalay division, Mongshu in Shan state and Phakant in Kachin state.
To develop gem mining industry, Myanmar enacted the New Gemstone Law in 1995, allowing national entrepreneurs to mine, produce, transport and sell finished gemstone and manufactured jewelry at home and abroad.
Since 2000, the government has started mining of gems and jade in joint ventures with 10 private companies under profit sharing basis.