Hundreds of merchants from China to Malaysia flocked to Naypyidaw on Friday to inspect jade and other precious stones at an annual auction that offered a glimpse into the country’s notoriously murky but lucrative gems industry. The 13-day emporium that opened on Wednesday is expected to draw around 5,000 local and foreign visitors who will bid for the raw jade, gems, jewellery and sculptures up for sale. Traders carefully examined raw slabs of jade with torches and measuring tapes Friday at a sprawling complex in the former-junta ruled nation’s capital. ‘We invited (merchants from) Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and China for this year’s gems emporium,’ Than Zaw Oo, vice-chairman of the event’s organising committee, told AFP. ‘More than 2,000 gem traders came from those countries. Most are from China,’ he added. Up to 90 percent of the world’s jadeite

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