myanmar visit

Just prior to President Obama lifting U.S. sanctions on Burmese ruby and jade imports, AGTA organized a trip to Myanmar (Burma) for gemstone and jewelry industry representatives, which included Jewelers of America President & CEO David J. Bonaparte. The main goal of the trip, which took place October 3-11, was to re-establish direct lines of commerce between Myanmar and the United States. Here's a recap and photos from the trip.

Bonaparte traveled with AGTA President Jeffrey Bilgore; AGTA CEO Douglas Hucker; GIA's Dr. Jim Shigley; Timothy Haake of JA's senior counsel Haake/Fetzer; and the Inle Advisory Group, a Myanmar-centric business consulting firm.

The delegation toured Myanmar's key districts: Yangon, its largest city; the capital Naypyitaw; Mandalay, home of the former royal capital; and Mogok, known as "the valley of the rubies."

While in the bustling Yangon, the delegation met with the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Myanmar Gems & Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association, the US Embassy and several jewelry shops like SP Gems. Their visit to the capital of Naypyitaw provided an opportunity to meet with several of Myanmar's Ministries including Natural Resources, Labor, and Commerce. Bonaparte and the delegation discussed bilateral trade between the U.S. and Myanmar.

In Mogok, visitors observed mining conditions and practices at the Purity Peridot Mine and HP Mine, one of the world's largest sources for rubies.

“We are here to share with the people of Myanmar what our U.S. trade associations do to ensure product integrity, increase consumer confidence, and maintain responsible supply chains,” said Bonaparte.

Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram Linkedin