Vietnam hopes new gold jewelry regulations will protect consumers

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Vietnam is set to install its first national rule system to manage the domestic gold jewelry market on June 1, 2014, when the Ministry of Science and Technology's Circular 22 takes effect .

The Ho Chi Minh City-based Saigon Jewelry Association held a meeting with jewelers November 22 to brief them on the circular.

Nguyen Van Dung, the association's chairman, expects that stronger control of the gold jewelry market will result in greater protections for consumers.

Attendee Le Huu Hanh, deputy director of major jeweler PNJ, said the tighter rules would create healthy competition between jewelers and force them to be more transparent regarding manufacturing costs.

Authorities have recently fined five jewelers for quality violations and fraud relating to weights.

Analysts are hopeful that Circular 22 will prevent gold smuggling nurtured by sellers' habit of caring only about the metal's purity, not its origin.

There are 3,000 gold jewelry producers in HCMC alone, according to Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam's branch in the city.

In order limit the impact of gold speculation on the economy, Vietnam's central bank took control over gold bar production in mid-2012.

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