Myanmar’s total proceeds from the export of jade in the first nine months of the 2013-14 (April-March) fiscal year soared to $924 million (K887 billion), compared with $297 million during the entire previous fiscal year, official data released by the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development shows.
China, Hong Kong and India are historically the major buyers of Myanmar’s jade, but this year Japan topped the list. Myanmar’s annual jade production is more than 10,000 tonnes, with May being the most productive month. Export earnings in September last year was about $336 million.
However, a new law, which has been discussed at the union parliament, is planning to impose a 30 percent tax on raw jade, ruby, sapphire, emerald, diamond and other stones.
Foreign direct investments in Myanmar’s mining sector accounted for over 6.6 percent of the total FDI with $2.3 billion in investments until January, according to Directorate of Investment and Companies Administration (DICA) website.
Mogok, also known as the Ruby Land, is home to the world-famous Myanmar ruby. Residents from Mogok and nearby areas used to do ruby mining for generations, usually on a manageable scale by traditional manual methods, until it was restricted due to joint-ventures between the ruling government and its close business associates about 20 years ago. Unscrupulous mining by joint-ventures, using heavy machinery, has left the town with dumps and craters.