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Jade Market to Be Built in Hpakant

The proposed Kachin jade center in Hpakant, Kachin State, northern Burma.

A jade market is being built in Hpakant town in Kachin State at a cost of 6 billion kyat (more than US$4 million), the state’s ministry of natural resources said.

The ministry and the Association of Jade Businessmen are jointly building the market.

Dashi La Seng, the Kachin State minister of natural resources and the environment, said that the initiative is an attempt to combat the illegal sale of jade on the black market.

“If we have an official jade market, jade can be officially sold in this market. Businessmen can transport their jade with official documents after they buy jade stones in the official jade market. Therefore, the illegal buying and selling of jade will be reduced,” he told KNG.

The market will have 108 rooms for shops, with each costing around 75 million kyats ($50,700) to purchase. According to the Association of Jade Businessmen, these can be paid for in installments.

Ko One, who is the chairperson of the association, said that the market is open to anyone because the jade quality will not be used to determine who is allowed to participate.

“We will allow everybody to sell their jade. We will sell the rooms [for shops] to jade businessmen. If they have a room, they can sell their jade. If businessmen want to transport their jade to Myitkyina or Mandalay, we will help them to pay the official tax for their jade,” Ko One explained.

According to the Association of Jade Businessmen, after the construction of this jade market has been completed, they will try to link with restaurants and banks so that they can open venues on the premises.

A jade auction will be launched in the Kachin State capital of Myitkyina in the last week of February.

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