"Gemopolis Free Zone Complex", the extension phase in Gemopolis Industrial Estate developed by I.G.S. PCL. is now ready for official opening. The project was initiated considering the high demand for office and factory and coinciding with Free Zone Status being granted by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT). With an investment cost of 300 MB, it is expected to reach 8,000 MB export income in 2010.
Gemopolis is the specialized industrial estate for diamonds, gems and jewelry established in 1990 by I.G.S. PCL. with the unique mission to only cater to the gems and jewellery business as our vision "to integrate manufacturing and trading in one compound and develop into the leading one-stop diamonds, gems and jewelry center of the world" . It occupies a total area of 800 Rai (320 acres), the first development project occupies 170 rai (68 acres).
At present, 120 companies from 24 countries have established their production base and trading office in Gemopolis employing over 20,000 staff including many expats. Indeed, 90% of the companies are foreign-owned, many bearing the globally-recognised names of leading international corporation in their field.
Gemopolis enjoys a prime location just 8 minutes from Suvaranbhumi International Airport as well as business support facilities ,for instance, a commercial bank on-site, a training school whose role is to support the investors with skilled manpower, logistics and shipping companies to do the transportation, a customs office within our boundaries to ease all the customs formalities, specialised investment consultancy services, a perfect infrastructure and high-end telecommunication network are integrated within one location completely. In addition, large-volume water supplies and waste water treatment system are considered a key factor to reduce the business expenses of social environment responsibility.
Considering the high demand for office and factory, Gemopolis Industrial Estate desired to expand a new project called "Gemopolis Free Zone Complex" which was timed to coincide with being granted Free Zone Status by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT).
The newest project, "Gemopolis Free Zone Complex", the two magnificent seven-storey buildings which have been designated as industrial, trading, and commercial operations, occupying more than 10,000 sq.m. is now ready for opening officially. With the investment cost of 300 MB, it is expected to reach 8,000 MB export income in 2010.
In terms of privileges, the industrial estate's existing incentives of IEAT Free Zone offers more opportunities not only to diamonds, gems and jewellery businesses but also the related fashion industry such as high value products, medical equipments, watches, luxury pens, IT equipments, etc.
In general zone, the investors must be a manufacturer in order to obtain a promotion license from the Board of Investment (BOI) however under Free Zone privileges with the IEAT, commercial, trading or even promotional activities, for example, showrooms,
laboratory, logistics, distribution centers, repairs work and services, warehouse are also permitted. The advantages of setting up business units in Gemopolis Free Zone Complex are as follows:-
1. Low-rise factory condominium with one horizontal floor utilization concept
2. Office & factory space available from 60-5,000 sq.m.
3. Investment cost starts from as low as 3.8 MB
4. Comprehensive benefits and privileges granted by BOI and IEAT
- Exemption of corporate rate income & dividend income tax for 5-8 years for manufacturing activities
- Exemption of import duty & vat for raw material, semi-product, essential materials, machinery, equipments, finished product
- 0% VAT on purchasing from domestic suppliers
- Open-ended period for storage
- Production formula list not required
5. 100% share ownership for foreign investors
6. Foreign investors entitled to own land and property under company name
7. Expedited permission to employ expats
At present, more than 15 companies from both overseas and local market have taken office & factory space of 5,000 sq.m. in free zone complex.
Recently, the Thai government has decided to scrap its value added tax (7% VAT) for jewelers on imports of rough diamonds and gems. The move boosts the local industry's competitiveness in the export market by reducing tax burden for Thai jewelers who previously have to pay VAT up front on all import material and bringing Thailand closer to being a world gem and jewelry hub. Therefore, this would help Thai jewelers to save a tremendous amount of VAT however Gemopolis's clients who are granted BOI privileges normally obtain VAT exemption according to BOI regulation.
The three significant reasons the investors decided to invest in Gemopolis are prime location, prime advantages and prime facilities and utilities.
The gems and jewelry is the third largest industry in terms of export for Thailand. In 2008, Thailand export gems and jewelry goods with a total value of US$8,270.35 million, or 274,102.03 million Baht, an increase of 48.04% compared to 2007 and 157.91% compared to 2004. As of June 2009, the industry export value totals US$5,2360.63 million or 173,563.57 million baht, an increase of 42.77% compared to the same period of last year.
The Department of Export Promotion (DEP) in cooperation with the industry associations has been organizing various activities to help boost the export market and promote Thailand as the world's gems and jewelry trade and manufacturing center. A Thai Wholesale Jewelry Center has been established in China to expand our trade network. At the same time businesses matching for trade representatives from gems and jewelry industries have been organized to Russia, UAE and other countries with high potential to help expand new export markets. Furthermore, early this year DEP in collaboration with the Thai Gems and Jewelry Traders Association and the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Bank), Small Business Credit Guarantee Corporation (SBCG), and Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank), jointly signed an MOU to support trade export insurance and credit guarantee to Thai gems and jewelry exporters. The lifting of 7% value-added tax on colored stones imports for jewelry and ornament processing recently approved by The Thai government will also significantly help reduce cost for the industry.
The Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair organized twice a year by the Thai Gems and Jewelry Traders Association with support from The Department of Export Promotion has played a key role in promoting Thai gems and jewelry products as well as effectively served as trade negotiation platform between Thai exporters and buyers from all corners of the world. This exhibition has been ranked among the top 10 best international gems and jewelry product expos worldwide.
The upcoming 44th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair will be held between 15-19 September 2009 at Impact Challenger, Muang Thong Thani.