Mr. Rachane Potjanasuntorn, Chairman of GIT’s Board of Executive Directors
GIT’s 20th Anniversary
In every era, reliable quality has always been a vital key of gem and jewelry trading. It also influenced Thai private sector and government
to establish “the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) or GIT” in 1998. The institute’s primary mission is examining
and certifying gem and jewelry quality, developing personnel, and serving as Thailand’s gem and jewelry information center to promote the industry’s growth.
"For a long time, the gem and jewelry industry has played significant role to Thailand, especially its exports, which generate substantial revenue to the nation. The industry also creates plentiful employment opportunities. Twenty years ago, export value of gem and jewelry was approximately over 70 billion baht. The industry employed ten thousand workers. In 2017, its export value was over 430 billion baht and the industry employed over 2 million workers. Formerly, when Thailand mainly traded precious and semi-precious stones, there were arguments over qualities and color tones. Consequently, the government and private sector agreed that there must be an institute specifically in charge of quality matters," Mr. Rachane Potjanasuntorn, Chairman of The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand’s Board of Executive Directors, told us about GIT’s beginning which is the starting point of building confidence for the gem and jewelry industry.
"Each year, GIT’s laboratory can examine ten thousands of gem and jewelry specimens. We can assure consumers that with our quality examination and certification,
the product’s quality and standard can be trusted and GIT is the only governmental agency certifying gem and jewelry quality."
GIT has also placed importance to personnel development for the gem and jewelry industry to enable the industry to manufacture products in line with markets’ demand.
"We enhance their potentials in every aspect, designing and cutting and polishing, to help them create products matching markets’ demand. GIT has built up skills of almost 2,000 personnel annually. Since the official opening of the institute, there were almost 3,000 participants in our design courses. Many of them started their own jewelry brands after having completed the courses. Moreover, we are the most complete center of Thailand’s gem and jewelry information. Information services are available here at the institute, or you can access to the services online through our website, www.git.or.th, as well."
Mr. Rachane continued that though the industry has been growing constantly, GIT still works on raising value and worth of the industry. The government has assigned GIT to carry out a nationwide project to develop gem businesses in regions famous for gem and jewelry to strengthen businesses in provinces with local wisdoms concerning gem and jewelry, for instance, Sukhothai gold jewelry products, silverwares, and Chanthaburi gemstones, by upgrading personnel, developing jewelry design and expanding marketing channels. And if any business operators possess sufficient capability, they will be supported to export their products.
"GIT has sent out experts to every region to extract local strengths and identities to be presented and promoted into product trends. Designers and product developers talked to craftsmen before they were trained to adapt their local strengths into jewelry pieces fit for trading. Jewelry products are craftworks developed from cultures. Each place has its own distinctive jewelry style which craftsmanship is necessary for their creation. As the industry is Thailand’s strength, we have to boost income of personnel in the industry and push the local businesses to become a sustainable industry."
Apart from export markets, which have continuously grown, lately, GIT has also been putting more focus on promoting gem and jewelry trading in domestic market. "Previously, domestic gem and jewelry trading values were not less than export values. But right now we need to be able to organize a more explicit data system similar to that of export, for example, consistent quarterly data forecast in order to analyze the industry’s condition in different areas and specify development strategy suitable for each area such as border cities may need exporting to neighboring countries, while some areas may require further design training," Mr. Rachane explained. "What we need to develop according to the government’s policy to disperse wealth to local areas is developing gem and jewelry trading businesses in domestic market in which there are 70 million Thai consumers and over 30 million foreign tourists. We need to build an urge among the tourists that when visiting Thailand they need to buy gem and jewelry products back to their countries as souvenirs for their friends and families."
Future Path of GIT
Beside key mission that GIT has carried out through 20 years, from now on, GIT is ready to continue pursuing its existing missions and new missions aiming to strengthen and expand Thai gem and jewelry industry.
"I would like everybody in the industry to make use of GIT’s works, especially standard certification. If they see a certification from GIT, they should be able to rest assured that the product’s quality is reliable as it has been examined and certified with scientific methods according to international standards. Moreover, GIT tries to encourage a meeting to build confidence among overseas gold standard establishers that laboratories of large companies’ in Thailand hold reliable standards. Hence, there’s no need for Thai entrepreneurs to export gold for certification. This will stimulate Thai gold trading which around 3-4 tons of gold bullion are traded annually."
Mr. Rachane emphasized that GIT would continue its key missions and focus more on marketing. It would collaborate with Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) to promote the matter. At the same time, the institute would play a role of a “center” of Thai gem and jewelry ready to facilitate every matter relating to the industry.
"We will do everything to promote Thai gem and jewelry trading, solve problems for business operators, and create business opportunities. If you have any issue concerning the industry, GIT is willing to take the matter into consideration and forward it to other related agencies to find a solution," Mr. Rachane talked about GIT’s role in the next decade.