2 Sept 2005
A Gem Of A Show(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2005)
Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2005
"The show attracted a total of 26,753 buyers, up 7% compared with the 2004 event, from 124 countries and regions," TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick revealed. "In addition to local and mainland buyers, most came from the US, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, Australia, India and Italy."
They were drawn by the glittering array of fine jewellery, diamonds, pearls, gems, watches and clocks and related jewellery products and services displayed by 1,547 exhibitors from 40 countries and regions.
"Group pavilions from the US, Italy, Belgium, Dubai, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Thailand, India and Israel augmented Hong Kong's own extensive collection of exhibitors, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to see the cream of the world's jewellery and watch and clock products in one location," Chick added.
TDC council member Christopher Cheng said the success of the 22nd Hong Kong International Jewellery Show boded well for Hong Kong's jewellery exports, which were expected to grow significantly again this year.
"Hong Kong's total jewellery exports surged 19% last year to US$2.58bn, following double-digit growth in the previous year," Cheng observed, noting that Hong Kong was the world's third-largest exporter of precious jewellery after Italy and the US.
"Exports to Hong Kong's largest market, the US, increased by 10% to US$1.3bn, while the EU surged 35% thanks to the appreciating euro," Cheng remarked. "Domestic sales also saw robust growth fuelled by an increase in Chinese mainland tourists after the relaxation of visa requirements to visit Hong Kong."
He believed Hong Kong's hard-earned reputation for style, quality and craftsmanship, together with strong interest from mainland consumers, would further boost both local jewellery exports and domestic sales in 2005.
"Hong Kong is particularly strong in producing fashionable pieces set with small gemstones," Cheng maintained. "We are on a par with the best in Europe when it comes to design capabilities and gem-setting skills."
His predictions were reflected in an independent industry survey conducted by Oracle Market Research during the show, which revealed that industry insiders were "optimistic" about both global and target jewellery market prospects in 2005.
The survey found that jewellers expected a 10% increase in sales this year, and bullish growth of 16% in sales in emerging markets, such as the Chinese mainland, Russia, India and Eastern Europe.
Some 88% of the 427 exhibitors and 716 buyers interviewed in the survey said the global jewellery market in 2005 would be "better than or the same as" 2004, particularly those targetting the Asia-Pacific region.
Chick said that it was particularly significant that the survey showed Hong Kong jewellers were planning to further grow their businesses by expanding sales in the US and Europe (by 26%), developing original design business (24%), selling into emerging markets such as the Chinese mainland, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia (20%) and establishing brands (15%).
"Hong Kong jewellers are paying stronger attention to creative designs and the branding business," she added. "Half of them plan to develop branding business in the next two years, by building new brands or acquiring established brands through licensing or co-operation."
This in turn augurs well for the ongoing development of the local jewellery industry, which is continuing to move up the value chain and reinforce its position as a key sourcing location.
"The survey found that 66% of overseas buyers said Hong Kong and the southern Chinese mainland was their most preferred sourcing region as it provided a wide variety of quality goods in adjacent locations," Chick said. "Jewellery buyers are impressed by Hong Kong's design, craftsmanship and quality."
She noted that survey respondents preferred "simplicity" and "classic" styles, while heart and floral patterns were expected to be popular in 2005. "Rings were regarded as the fastest-growing product category, followed by necklaces and earrings," Chick added. "Consumer segments with the highest growth potential were 25-34-year-old executives, professionals and office ladies, as well as affluent women 35 years and older."
With such positive sentiments, Chick was confident that the 23rd Hong Kong International Jewellery Show to be held from March 6-9, 2006 would be even more popular than the 2005 event.
"The industry's optimistic predictions, coupled with this year's exceptional attendance figures and booming exports, should ensure that the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show will retain its acknowledged position as Asia's leading jewellery event in 2006," she said.
"Indeed, we are planning to expand the 2006 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show to include Hall 7 of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to display even more fine jewellery, diamonds, pearls, gems, watches and clocks, as well as related jewellery products and services!"
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
Popular and well-established sections such as Le Salon Extraordinaire, the Designer Jewellery Galleria and the Watch & Clock Pavilion were enhanced this year by the launch of the innovative Les Salons Priv廥.
"Le Salons Priv廥 offered a discreet venue for exhibitors to meet with specially invited visitors and display their fine products in privacy, while remaining at the heart of the fair venue," TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick explained. "This zone received very positive feedback and will be continued in next year's show."
She said Le Salon Extraordinaire lived up to its name, attracting 22 of the world's leading jewellery companies, who took the opportunity to present their finest designs in an elegant, tasteful setting.
"This was an 83% increase on the number of exhibitors in the Le Salon Extraordinaire zone in 2004 and is proof of the important position the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show holds on the jewellery industry calendar," Chick added.
The Designer Jewellery Galleria was again a key attraction, with some 46 of the brightest stars in the international jewellery field displaying a sensational selection of fine designer and brand name jewellery.
"The Designer Jewellery Galleria has become a not-to-be-missed event that showcases the talents of designers from Hong Kong, France, Israel, Japan, Korea, Monaco, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and the US," Chick observed.
The Watch & Clock Pavilion returned for the third time, spotlighting complete timepieces and brand name watches from 51 exhibitors. "The Pavilion is a valuable bonus for jewellery buyers, allowing them to source complementary products in one convenient location," Chick noted.
Regular features included the 6th Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition that drew 176 entries from talented local designers. "This competition underlined the design development that is driving Hong Kong jewellery to new heights," Chick added.
Winning pieces of the 6th Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition and the 5th International South Sea Pearl Jewellery Design Competition, as well as collections from other exhibitors were paraded during the Gala Evening on the first day of the show. In addition, five key seminars covered GIA Gems & Gemology Lab Notes Update, Guangzhou Jewellery Development, Cultured Pearls - Overview of Production Methods, Origins & Evaluation Procedures, How to Establish a Jewellery Business on the Chinese Mainland, and Jewellery Trends in the United States.
"Prominent industry players, specialists and government officials from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, Europe and the US shared their experience and knowledge," explained Chick. "Audiences found these events provided excellent platforms to learn the most up-to-date information, showing that the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show has something for everyone involved in the local, regional and international jewellery industry."
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER