14 May, 2007

The Gold & Jewellery Industry in Penang

Wish to share some info on gold & Jewellery which I had read it from “Penang Economic Monthly” newsletter lately.

Approximately 75 – 80 % or 48 – 52 tonnes of the gold and jewellery in Malaysia are manufactured or fabricated in Penang.

Penang is the major exporter of gold & jewellery in the South East Asian region. More than 70% of the gold & jewellery manufactured in Penang is for the export market. The major export markets are the Middle East at almost 90%, North & South America at 6% and European countries at 4%.

There are 4 major gold & jewellery manufacturers on Penang Island, namely OE Design, Zenmax, Yikon and Zhulian.

Apart from export, Penang has its fair share of retail outlets located mainly along Campbell Street, Jalan Masjid Kapitan, Lebuh Ah Quee, and Market Street. These retailers cater to the domestic market and international tourists, mainly from Indonesia (Medan & Aceh), Southern Thailand, India and Saudi Arabia.

The gold & jewellery industry is a labour intensive industry, employs approx. 8,000 – 10,000 people in Penang. Over the past century, Penang has gained itself the reputation as possessing one of the finest gold craftsmanship in the world.

The Chinese have been the major players of the gold & jewellery, their experience encompasses manufacturing and trading of gold articles (bangles, necklace, bracelet, earrings, etc.) and gem setting (diamond & precious stones). Apart from the Chinese, there are smaller groups of Indian Muslim and Indian jewellers who are mainly involved in gem setting and are located around Jalan Masjid Kapitan and Market Street. The Indian Muslim and Indian jewelers main focus on retail, wholesale and small portion of import and export. Most of them provide the design and specifications based on their customer’s requirements to the Chinese goldsmiths and manufacturers for production.

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