Saigon Jewelry Holding Co. (SJC) has resumed jewelry exports, after stopping the business in late 2010 due to low competitiveness, according to the The Saigon Times Daily.

SJC is the second firm in the industry trying to ship jewelries abroad besides Phu Nhuan Jewelry Company (PNJ).

Do Cong Chinh, general director of SJC, said that his enterprise was sending small batches to Europe to explore the market before executing larger orders from foreign buyers. SJC will sign processing contracts with foreign partners to make shipments with bigger values in the near future, Chinh said.

Many foreign customers have already signed contracts with SJC after examining the processing technology and prices offered by the local company.

SJC has sought permission from the central bank to import materials temporarily for re-export to process jewelry for partners. Chinh deems this practice as the best way now as it is very difficult to compete with rivals from Thailand and Hong Kong who enjoy lower gold prices and have more advanced processing technologies.

PNJ is a jewelry exporter with steady exports done over the years. However, Nguyen Thi Cuc, deputy general director of the company, reported that jewelry export revenue only contributed some 6 percent to her company’s total while the export profits were low.

After an export tax rate of 10 percent was slapped on jewelry products having gold content of less than 99.99 percent, foreign customers have become lukewarm to high-value home-made jewelry items.

PNJ earns around 12.5-13 million USD from jewelry exports annually while its jewelry exports generated up to 29 million USD in the first five months of 2010 when jewelry exports by local firms were strong due to softer domestic gold prices then.

According to the Vietnam Gold Business Association, as other Asian countries apply jewelry export duties of zero percent, their export values of gold and jewelry products always stay high. Gold jewelry exports by Thailand average out at about 3 billion USD annually, the association said.-VNA