By Ugur Aslanhan
ISTANBUL (AA) – ASEAN Gems and Jewellery Association Conference kicked off in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Organized by ASEAN, the event gathered a jewellery market with a worth of $500 billion at the first-ever Istanbul conference, convening 35 countries from Asia, including Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
The 8th of ASEAN conference is considered as a great opportunity for Turkey to increase its market share in the world's jewellery sector.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Turkey’s Deputy Trade Minister Riza Tuna Turagay said Turkey exported $4.4 billion in jewellery last year, taking 4% of share in global jewellery import.
"These figures do not reflect Turkey's potential, we can see higher numbers in jewellery export," he said.
Talking about the efforts to increase the export of jewellery, Ismail Gulle, the head of Turkish Exporters' Assembly, also stated that Turkey is looking for ways to offer high quality products and brand-new designs to commercial partners at the most affordable price on a global scale.
"Turkey exported jewellery to 155 countries in 2018, a rise of 34% compared to previous year," he said.
The surge in the demand of ASEAN countries has largely contributed to the rise, Gulle said, elaborating that jewellery exports to these countries rose by 82% to $50 million.
The ASEAN members have started to be seen as an important competitor in the jewellery sector.
Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are seen as main industries, rich in gems and jewellery resources, having developed jewellery manufacturing industry and closely trading with Chinese jewellery.
* Writing by Aysu Bicer