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Counting Down To Sparkling Show(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 01,2008)

Hong Kong International Jewellery Show

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Timepiece and jewellery traders alike are counting the minutes to the 2008 edition of Asia's second-largest jewellery show

Exquisite watches and clocks will dazzle alongside gleaming gems and jewels at the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2008, to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from March 4-8.

Glitz and glamour will abound at the annual event, which is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) in cooperation with the Hong Kong Jewellers' & Goldsmiths' Association, the Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers Association, the Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers' Association and the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China.

A series of exciting highlights such as the Watch & Clock Pavilion, which will parade a brilliant array of distinctive and quality timepieces, will mark the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show's 25th edition.

The pavilion underscores the importance of Hong Kong as one of the world's largest exporters of watches and clocks, shipping US$4.6bn worth of timepieces in the first nine months of 2007 - up 5% from the same period in the previous year.

"Staged for the sixth time, the pavilion is a key feature of the show, providing one-stop sourcing opportunities for cross-sector buyers looking for both jewellery and timepieces," says TDC Senior Exhibitions Manager Anne Chick.

The pavilion will comprise two sections - Brand Name Watches & Clocks devoted to designer collections and branded items; and Complete Watches & Clocks covering a comprehensive range.

"The Watch & Clock Pavilion has time and again proved popular with buyers and exhibitors alike, contributing significantly to the continued success of the show," Ms Chick notes.

A record 2,185 exhibitors from 41 countries and regions participated in the last show, which drew 31,004 visitors from 129 countries and regions including the Chinese mainland, the US, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, India, the Philippines, Australia, Korea and Italy.

Encouraged by these impressive results, Ms Chick is anticipating an even bigger and better Hong Kong International Jewellery Show in 2008. "As a leading design centre and a major sourcing hub for jewellery in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong is the ideal venue for such an international trade show," she notes. "In addition to overseas markets, there is also strong demand from the Chinese mainland."

As a major global jewellery supplier, Hong Kong exported US$2.9bn worth of jewellery in the first nine months of 2007 - up 15% from the same period in 2006.

Sparkle galore will emanate from enchanting exhibits that run the gamut from fine and silver jewellery to diamonds and pearls as well as precious and semiprecious stones. Jewellery accessories, display and packaging materials and tools and equipment will also be showcased.

Two smash-hit attractions introduced in 2007, Antique & Vintage Jewellery and Jade Jewellery, will both make a return to cater to the growing passion for classic pieces and jade designs respectively.

Among the themed zones are Le Salon Extraordinaire dedicated to premium and luxurious jewellery, and the Designer Jewellery Galleria for branded jewellery and designer collections.

On display at Treasures of Nature will be precious loose jewellery elements including natural diamonds, precious stones and pearls of exceptional quality.

In addition, Les Salons Privms will provide a private setting for buyers to source from a wide spectrum of fine jewellery while staying close to the centre of the action.

The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show will also be graced by winning entries from the 9th Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition and the Chuk Kam Jewellery Design Competition, as well as show parades with models wearing the latest jewellery and watches.

"A series of insightful seminars on hot industry-related topics will run concurrently, while networking events such as the Gala Evening and cocktail receptions will provide further platforms for business negotiations in a more relaxing ambience," Ms Chick concludes.

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED

Participants in the last Hong Kong International Jewellery Show gave the fair the ringing endorsements befitting Asia's second-largest exhibition of its kind.

"The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show is the best jewellery show in Asia," opined exhibitor Manish Gupta, Director at Midas Touch of Thailand. "Here you can see new collections."

His remarks were echoed by fellow exhibitor Paul Lubetsky, President and CEO at Windsor Jewelers Inc of the US, who said: "We appreciate the diversity of visitors attending the show and the private clientele who come here."

Buyers such as Peter Luplow, Vice President of Ben Bridge of the US, also gave the fair the thumbs-up. "This is where we source a lot of our vendors - everyone you need to see is here and it's all under one roof," he enthused. "Manufacturers from Hong Kong pay a lot of attention to detail - there is very fine workmanship that is difficult to find in other parts of the world."

Equally impressed was UAE visitor Walid Radi, Managing Director at Blue Sands Trading Co LLC. "This is a very interesting show with a comprehensive mix of items, making it ideal for our business," he said. "It's a great chance to deal directly with people, establishing face-to-face contact to help us build business relationships."

Seiji Tsutsumi, President at Tsutsumi Jewelry Co Ltd of Japan visits the fair to gauge fashion trends. "I find the fair well organised and the quality of what we buy here is very good - it always sells quickly!"

Amid these emphatic votes of confidence, the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2008 looks set to glow and glitter.

TEXT BY CARRIE LEE