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Vol.1 1998

Show Report

Show Report

THE September Hong Kong Jewelry & Watch Fair — Asia's biggest jewellery event — held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 3-7 September 1997, attracted 1,500 exhibitors from 40 countries and regions and more than 29,400 visitors from 86 countries, making it the largest jewellery fair organised by Miller Freeman Asia Ltd.

Country pavilions included Germany, France, the UK, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Australia and Brazil. The Hong Kong pavilion, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), consisted of 513 exhibitors.

About 60% of the Hong Kong exhibitors were fine-jewellery makers, 15% pearl and the rest gemstone producers. Hong Kong, one of the world's leading exporters of fine jewellery, exported jewellery to the value of HK$10.59bn in 1996.

Leung Sik-wah, chairman of The Hong Kong Jewellers' & Goldsmiths' Assn and of the TDC's jewellery advisory committee, said the fair should see successful business. "The Southeast Asian market is expected to perform steadily despite recent currency fluctuation. The US market is very good, while the Middle East and South American markets are moving up satisfactorily," Leung said.

He emphasised that business had been normal since Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty. And that jewellery export growth of about 3-5% was expected for the whole of 1997 on the back of more sales to the US and Europe. Leung noted that while Thailand was seen as Hong Kong's main competitor in the jewellery field, "design, quality of raw materials, communications and marketing expertise" gave Hong Kong the edge.

He said Hong Kong firms also take advantage of lower production costs in mainland China to keep overheads down.

Aaron Shum, chairman of The Hong Kong Jewelry Mfrs' Assn, said while Thailand had a well-established gemstone-cutting centre, especially in rubies and sapphires, "design and craftsmanship are behind that of Hong Kong". Shum said: "There is no price advantage [between Hong Kong and Thailand]. Suppliers are selling at the same prices. Besides inflation will raise wages in Thailand."

Peter Sutton, a Miller Freeman director, said the September fair provides "an ideal international marketplace for the jewellery trade where buying and selling activities are the key to success".

He continued: "Visitors can also enjoy a first-hand opportunity to source new jewellery products, make new contacts, review the latest designs, the most recent technological advancements and overall assess the development of the market."

This year's September Hong Kong Jewelry & Watch Fair will be held from 23-27 September. The event will expand to all the main halls at the extension to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, giving it the space it needs to meet growing demand from exhibitors and visitors.

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