Industry News

Myanmar awaits EU sanction easing

Ruby mining in Burma's Mogok Stone Track © Richard W. Hughes

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar - Myanmar's reformist rulers are looking forward to an easing of European Union sanctions on Monday but celebrations will be muted over a political stalemate delaying Aung San Suu Kyi's historic parliamentary debut. The European Union is all but certain to become the first among Western powers to suspend in earnest sanctions that isolated Myanmar for two decades. The expected EU decision on sanctions would be a boon for Myanmar's tattered and long-stagnant economy and could prompt the United States and Canada to follow suit and pave the way for development loans and a flood of foreign investment in its trove of natural resources like oil, gas, timber and gemstones. read more..


British PM Calls For Suspending Myanmar Sanctions

YANGON, Myanmar — British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday that he would support suspending the European Union's economic sanctions on Myanmar, which are to be reviewed by the end of the month. Cameron spoke after meetings with the country's reform-minded president, Thein Sein, and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a longtime political prisoner who was recently elected to parliament in Myanmar, a former British colony. read more...


GIA Helps African Youth Discover the Science of Gems

Thirty-five students from Johannesburg, South Africa, and Gaborone, Botswana, eager to get their first glimpse of gemology – from rough crystals to finished jewelry pieces – recently learned the basics of gemology, mineralogy and geology. Two GIA Junior Gemologist Program™ workshops, sponsored by GIA (Gemological Institute of America), were held in Johannesburg. The students, from the ages of 10 to 15, received hands-on, practical training with loupes and other specialized gemological equipment as they learned to identify and assess gems such as quartz, fluorite, corundum and calcite. This was the first time that GIA offered the program in either country.


AGS Laboratories Forms Partnership with Worldmart*E

Guangzhou, China. The American Gem Society Laboratories, LLC (AGS Labs) officially launched a strategic partnership with Worldmart*E at a signing ceremony at the Worldmart*E facilities in Panyu. Through this partnership, the AGS Labs brand name and AGS diamond grading standards will be promoted among Worldmart*E members. Local China markets will be able to learn more about the AGS, as well as access international diamond market information to enhance their sourcing and trading of diamonds at the online Worldmart*E platform. read more...


Contentious excise duty on jewelry may stay

Jewelers across India protested the country's Ministry of Finance over the new excise duty with a 21-day strike. The tussle between jewelers and the MoF is likely to intensify in the first week of May although assurance was given by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to the industry early this month. Rajiv Jain, chairman of the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, is optimistic about the minister's assurance. He said, "The finance minister himself promised in a recent meeting with 22 industry organizations that he would look into the matter through the proper process." read more...


100 Women Who Matter - Entrepreneurs Roundtable

March 30 & April 6‚ 2012‚ issue

Newsweek Pakistan’s Benazir Shah and Bisma Ahmad got down to business with five leading women entrepreneurs in Lahore recently to talk about the hard slog. ICA member, and former ICA Ambassador to Pakistan, Ambarine Bukharey was interviewed for the article: "I started gemstone exports in 1989 and never thought this would become a serious business. I was the first woman in this line, and I think so far the only one who’s also mining. When I first went out in the markets in Peshawar to buy gemstones, all these men would just stop and stare and laugh at me. They were highly skeptical. But now we’re one big happy family. Now I can sit with five or six Pathans in the middle of the night examining stones. I feel safe now, because they look after you like family."

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