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The Golden Future of Thailand’s Bullion Industry

By Pawan Nawawattanasub, CEO, YLG Bullion International

The Golden Future of Thailand’s Bullion Industry​

Right in the heart of Bangkok, surrounded by the shimmer of gold and an air of expertise, the Gem and Jewelry Institute (GIT), Thai Gold Traders Association (GTA), and World Gold Council (WGC) came together on September 7, 2023 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center as organisers of the Thailand Gold Forum 2023.

With global demand for gold steadily growing, Thailand is reaffirming its commitment to becoming a significant player in the international gold market. The Thailand Gold Forum serves as a beacon guiding this journey, offering a unique opportunity for participants to delve into the latest gold trading trends, innovations and strategies.

The event saw distinguished leaders from Thailand’s public and private sectors, as well as international gold experts. Visionaries like Jitti Tangsithpakdi, President of the Thai Gold Traders Association; Shaokai Fan, World Gold Council’s (WGC) Head of APAC (ex-China); Sitthichai Parinyanusorn, Deputy Director of GIT; John Reade, Chief Market Strategist at WGC; Albert Cheng, CEO of Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA); Boonlert Siripatvanich, Chief Executive Officer of Ausiris; Tanarat Pasawongse, Chief Executive Officer of Hua Seng Heng; Nuttapong Hirunyasiri, Managing Director of MTS Gold, and Pawan Nawawattanasub, Chief Executive Officer of YLG Bullion, all graced the event.

This symposium, with these esteemed figures, delved deep into the cultural, economic and technological factors that are propelling Thailand to the forefront of the international gold trade. This article captures the invaluable insights shared by these experts, shedding light on the promising path ahead in the world of gold trading.

Gold’s Enduring Legacy in Thailand

Shaokai Fan, Head of APAC (ex-China) for the World Gold Council, set the stage by emphasising Thailand’s deep cultural connection to gold. From weddings and religious ceremonies to financial security, gold plays a vital role in Thai daily life. The Bank of Thailand’s strategic gold reserves, bolstered by nearly 100 tonnes in recent years, reinforce Thailand’s standing as a regional powerhouse in the global gold market.

The World Gold Council’s Vision for Asia

Fan shed light on the World Gold Council’s extensive global presence, with offices strategically placed in gold trading hubs worldwide. He expressed optimism about Southeast Asia’s burgeoning economy, which is expected to drive increased demand for gold, particularly as a hedge against global uncertainties like inflation and geopolitical tensions.

Collaboration is the Key to Success

Sitthichai Parinyanusorn, Deputy Director of GIT, stressed the importance of collaboration, which led to the creation of this inaugural gold summit. He highlighted the responsibility that comes with the economic opportunities presented by the gold industry and emphasised unity among the World Gold Council, GTA, and GIT.

Gold as a Strategic Asset: Insights From John Reade

John Reade, Chief Market Strategist of the World Gold Council, made a compelling case for gold as a crucial component of diversified portfolios. He shared insights into gold’s resilience during market turbulence, its low correlation with equities, and its reliability in preserving wealth.

Day 2 began at 9 am sharp with the third and final keynote, this time from AI and business strategist Elin Hauge. As exhibited by the recent actors’ strike in Hollywood, people are afraid of machines taking over humanity. But it all boils down to mathematics, explained Hauge in her keynote about AI. She explored how large language models are only the foundations for context-specific applications. “AI is the natural next step – we have the data and the processes, now it makes sense to apply maths to make the data useful”, said Hague. “But we need to become better versions of humans before we can trust the machines to become better machines”.

SBMA’s Stewardship of ASEAN’s Gold Ecosystem

Albert Cheng, CEO of SBMA, celebrated Thailand’s ascent as a significant player in the global gold market. He underscored the importance of collaboration and the contributions of the distinguished panelists to the industry’s growth.

Legacy and Craftsmanship: the Heart of Thailand’s Gold

Khun Boonlert Siripatvanich, CEO of Ausiris, took the audience on a journey through time, uncovering the deep historical and cultural significance of gold in Thailand. He paid tribute to the artisans and goldsmiths whose artistry and precision have shaped this rich heritage.

Unveiling Thailand’s Gold Market Landscape

Khun Tanarat Pasawongse, CEO of Hua Seng Heng, painted a comprehensive picture of Thailand’s gold market, highlighting key trends and noteworthy milestones. From central banks’ active gold reserves to the surge in digitalised trading, his insights illuminated Thailand’s diverse avenues for gold acquisition.

Digital Evolution in Gold Trading

Khun Nuttapong Hirunyasiri, Managing Director of MTS Gold, spotlighted Thailand’s transition to a dynamic digital platform. The country’s pivotal role in both physical gold trading in Asia and Exchange Traded Gold, ranking among the top four in Asia, was highlighted.

Charting the Path Ahead: a Gilded Vision of Thailand’s Bullion Industry

Reflecting on the journey of YLG Bullion, I, as the CEO, am heartened by the remarkable expansion of the global gold market. I envision a future for Thailand’s gold industry that shimmers with promise and vibrancy, much like the precious metal we hold dear.

Charting the Path Ahead: a Gilded Vision of Thailand’s Bullion Industry​

Our vision is crafted with six key elements, each essential in elevating our nation to greater heights as a distinguished gold hub:

  1. Reliability: Like the steady hands of a skilled craftsman, reliability is at the core of our industry. It ensures that every transaction and piece of gold carries a mark of trust and quality.
  2. Innovation: Embracing innovation and harnessing technology in the gold business paves the way for new technologies, products, and processes. These innovations capture attention and investment, propelling our industry forward.
  3. Strong regulatory framework: Strengthened by four state regulatory bodies overseeing the gold market, the Gold Traders Association is pioneering the establishment of a Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO). This framework ensures fairness, transparency, and rigorous enforcement, fostering integrity.
  4. Collaborative partnerships: Collaborating with international partners amplifies our impact and reach, enhancing Thailand’s reputation in the global gold market. Together, we achieve more, forging lasting connections that benefit us all.
  5. Strategic market promotion: Showcasing our industry’s brilliance to the world highlights our strengths and why Thailand’s gold market stands out.
  6. Steadfast government support: The unwavering support of the Thai government, evident in incentive measures, reduced regulations, and seamless trading procedures, underscores our interconnected success, paving the way for enduring value.

Establishing a gold trading center demands meticulous coordination and collaboration among stakeholders. Thailand’s robust domestic gold market and infrastructure provide a solid foundation for this ambition. With these six elements aligning with the key dimensions of Environmental (E), Social (S), and Governance (G), Thailand is poised to become a reputable force in the global gold trading arena.


In this vision, Thailand’s gold industry transcends mere commerce; it becomes a beacon of excellence and a testament to collaborative power. It signifies a future where every transaction embodies trust, every innovation represents creativity, and every partnership harmonises into shared success.

As we embark on this transformative journey, let us do so with passion, collaboration, and a focus on a brighter future for Thailand’s gold industry. Together, we will shape an industry that shines not just for today but leaves a lasting legacy for generations to come.


PAWAN NAWAWATTANASUB is the CEO of YLG Bullion Singapore and the CEO and founder of YLG Bullion International. She has almost 40 years of experience in the jewellery industry and established YLG in Thailand in 2003. In 2012, she brought YLG to Singapore. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Thailand Gold Traders Association and is a SBMA Committee member.