Burmese Gem Auction ConcludesNovember 27, 07
Myanmar’s (Burma) gem auction ended Monday, after more than 2,000 foreign merchants from 16 countries had attended and more than 3,500 lots of precious stones had been sold, according to the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar.
The report did not reveal how much money the auction garnered, nor did it specify if the numbers of attendees was higher or lower than last year. However, according to AFP, an official from the state-run Myanmar Gems Enterprise, which oversees the sale, said that revenues from the auction totaled over €100 million ($148 million), approximately a third of what the auctions had typically earned in the past.
The event attracted a total of 3,616 local and foreign merchants, buying jade, pearls and gems.
The semi-annual auction commenced on schedule despite international calls for a boycott after the government violently crushed protests by Buddhist monks.
The European Union in October passed legislation banning the import of gems and timber from
Revenue from the sale of the country’s gemstones constitutes the third largest source of funding for the ruling junta, behind fossil fuels and timber.