Gem Museum In Myanmar Capital To Boost Tourism

YANGON, Feb 11 (Bernama) -- A gem museum will soon emerge in Myanmar's new capital of Nay Pyi Taw after a year's construction and the emergence will help boost the country's tourism, China's Xinhua news agency quoted a local daily as reporting Wednesday.

With an area of 12.5 acres (5.06 hectares), the three-storey museum will display Myanmar's world famous gems, jade, pearl and jewelry, the local weekly journal Pyi Myanmar said.

The new gem museum stands the second of its kind next to Yangon's.

In Yangon, there is a gem mart attached with the first gem museum as well as a convention center where Myanmar holds its gem sale all year round on different occasions, displaying a variety of the quality items for sale on the basis of competitive bidding and tender systems.

Myanmar started to hold gem shows annually in 1964, introducing the mid-year one in 1992 and the special one in 2004.

The gem traders mostly came from China, China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Thailand.

There are six mining areas in Myanmar under gem and jade exploration, namely, Mogok, Mongshu, Lonkin/Phakant, Khamhti, Moenyin and Namyar.

Myanmar, a well-known producer of gems in the world, boasts ruby, diamond, cat's eye, emerald, topaz, pearl, sapphire, coral and a variety of garnet tinged with yellow.

The authorities designated the proceeds from the sale of gems at these emporiums as legal export earning to encourage the private sector in the development of the gem industry.

Of Myanmar's US$6.043 billion exports in 2007-08, gem products stood the third after natural gas and agricultural produces with US$647.53 million, according to official statistics.

The government's Central Statistical Organization also revealed that in the fiscal year 2007-08, Myanmar produced 20,235 tons of jade and 22.668 million carats of gems which include ruby, sapphire, spinel and peridot, as well as 225,611 mommis (846 kg) of pearl.

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