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underway in Myanmar
A three-day pearl
auction, sponsored by the state-run
Myanmar Pearl Enterprise
(MPE), is underway, attracting dozens of foreign pearl
A total of 515 pearl lots and 94,319 pearls weighing
56,188.55 mommis are being sold through tender system at the
Myanmar Pearl Auction-2007 which began on Thursday, said
sources with the MPE under the Ministry of Mines.
Meanwhile, Myanmar has introduced some measures to boost
pearl sale, outlining them as increasing the size of pearls
cultured by the enterprise, boosting pearl output in Myanmar
waters and fixing reasonable prices for the pearls to
attract foreign merchants.
According to official statistics, under an oyster breeding
program, Myanmar produced nearly 400,000 units (about
200,000 mommis) of cultured pearls in 2006, 30 percent up
Oysters are bred along Myanmar's southern coast mainly on
Pearl Island, Mali Island and Shwe Island.
Myanmar, which specializes in producing South Sea Pearls,
possesses a total pearl production area of 25,600 square-
kilometers. The country started yielding pearls in 1956.
Cultured pearl production, which is undertaken at farms in
Myeik Archipelago in southern Tanintharyi division, has been
up sharply since 1992 when the government launched a
campaign to encourage more domestic and foreign investment
in the sector.
Of the six pearl producers in the country, there are
Myanmar- foreign joint ventures involving companies from
Thailand. Of them, the Myanmar-Japan
partnership represents the biggest producer with an
investment of about 8.47 million U.S. dollars, according to
Pearl lots, along with locally-produced quality gems, jade
and jewelry, are sold at the country's regular gems
emporiums, which are held up to three times a year in recent
years through a sale system ranging from sealed tender to