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Glitter Of Success In Hong Kong(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2001)

Vol.2 2001





Fair Preview

Glitter Of Success In Hong Kong

Glitter Of Success In Hong Kong

Show Times
Opening Hours  
February 27 10:30 am - 6:00 pm
February 28 - March 1 10 am - 6 pm
March 2 10 am - 5 pm
Buyer Registration Hours
February 27 10 am - 5:30 pm
February 28 - March 1 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
March 2 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Time Saver
Register online to avoid queues at the fair. Simply visit the Web site http://hkjewellery.com and register on the Net.

Hong Kong International Jewellery Show
27 February-2 March 2002
(Wednesday-Saturday)
 
2002 (Expected)
2001
Total Exhibitors
1,000
958
Product Mix All kinds of fine jewellery and gems, related products and services, including: diamond jewellery, platinum jewellery, 24K fine gold jewellery, gemset jewellery, silver jewellery, antique jewellery, pearl jewellery, South Sea pearls, cultured pearls, fresh water pearls, diamonds, coloured gemstones, jewellery mountings, carvings/display ornaments, jewellery display & packaging materials, machinery, tools & equipment, high-quality watches (jewellery, brand-name and antique models)
Scale 33,415 square metres
Venue Halls 1, 2, 5 and Atrium 2
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Organizers Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Sponsors Hong Kong Jewellers' & Goldsmiths' Assn
Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers' Assn
Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers' Assn
Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China
Admission Trade visitors only
Enquiries Exhibitions Department, Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Unit 13, Expo Galleria, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong, Tel: (852) 2240-4481,
(852) 2240-4120, Fax: (852) 2824-0026, E-mail: exhibitions@tdc.org.hk

Business Opportunities Abound

When Jewellery Industry Gathers

Opening ceremonies at the four-day Hong Kong International Jewellery Show trigger a flurry of activity for the jewellery industry in Asia. When the traditional ribbon-cutting is finished, trade officials, exhibitors and buyers rush into the exhibition halls to examine new products, including many of the world's most beautiful jewellery creations.

CALENDARS and personal diaries on the desks of many international jewellery traders from around the world already bear notations showing 27 February until 2 March 2002 as the dates for the next edition of the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show.

The annual fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre has developed into a not-to-be-missed, one-stop trading event for jewellery buyers and exhibitors.

Last March, 958 exhibitors from 28 countries and regions, along with 15,384 visitors, descended on the venue, transforming it into a global marketplace to showcase many of the world's most beautiful jewellery creations.

Next year's show, again organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), promises to be bigger and better yet as it reaffirms its claim to a lofty status as the leading fair of its kind in Asia.

"This is one of Asia's fastest-growing and most comprehensive jewellery trade fairs. It is also a forum where industry representatives and designers exchange information about trends and market information," says TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick.

The number of exhibitors at the 2001 show grew 8% on the 885 who participated in 2000. That year's tally was 11% higher than the 792 exhibitors at the 1999 show.

Numerous special events, including seminars, cocktail parties and unique displays, make the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show an ideal opportunity for networking and learning about industry trends, as well as examining new products and negotiating business deals. Shown is the TDC's director for exhibitions and publications C.S.Lee welcoming participants to a cocktail reception during the 2001 fair. Nearby, visitors examine a display of design-contest winners.


Strong attendance among buyers from Australia and the Pacific (up 12%), Europe (up 6%) and the Middle East (up 14%) revealed the vitality and opportunities associated with these markets.

An attendance breakdown demonstrates the 2001 show's cosmopolitan nature. The 6,802 overseas buyers (those from beyond Hong Kong) accounted for 44% of total attendance. Leading sources of visitors included the US, Taiwan, the Chinese mainland, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, Singapore and Germany.

"The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show is gaining prominence. It used to be that the only big jewellery fair in Hong Kong was staged in September. Now that everyone maintains just-in-time inventories, one event per year is too infrequent. People need to replenish their goods three, four, five or six times a year," notes Diamond Federation of Hong Kong chairman Lawrence Ma.

"The timing is also ideal because buyers from Southeast Asia and the Chinese mainland are in a buying mood after Chinese New Year."

Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers' Assn chairman Dennis Ng echoes such sentiments: "The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show attracts buyers who are planning orders after Christmas. With delivery times more efficient than in the past, orders have shorter lead-times. Buyers pay more attention to market trends and needs, heightening the show's importance."

Filling 33,415 square metres, the 2002 event will offer a sparkling array of fine jewellery and gems, related products and services, including diamond, platinum, 24K pure-gold, silver and gemset creations.

Gemstone fanciers will find South Sea, cultured and freshwater pearls, along with loose diamonds and numerous coloured gemstones. Mountings, display and packaging materials, machinery, tools, equipment and high-quality watches will also go on display.

A special Designer Jewellery Galleria provides an elite zone for prominent designers from Hong Kong and around the world. Thirteen designers who presented new creations there this year triggered an enthusiastic response among show visitors.

Pearls and gems of every description appear in The World of Pearl and Gem section, which attracts visitors seeking the best in both quality and price. An alternative venue for the best South Sea pearls - the renowned Paspaley Pearl and Robert Wan Tahiti Perles auctions - will again add lustre.

Showgoers seeking industry insights can attend any in a series of educational seminars. "The seminars attune visitors to the latest jewellery-industry trends and technology. International experts are invited as speakers," says Chick.

Imagination a

nd creativity are the driving forces behind successful designs. The Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition and the Chuk Kam Jewellery Design Competition, winners of which appear at the show, encourage and recognize outstanding design quality.

Sponsors for the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show include: the Hong Kong Jewellers' & Goldsmiths' Assn; the Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers' Assn; the Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers' Assn; and the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China.

 

Diverse Attractions And Displays

Sate Nearly All Jewellery Interests

What types of new jewellery will cause international buyers to stop and gawk in amazement or to linger in groups, speaking in hushed tones? Each exhibitor preparing for the 2002 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show must pose this question and devise the best possible answers. The results are likely to be fascinating and diverse.

THE Hong Kong International Jewellery Show offers plenty to see and hear for almost everyone in the jewellery industry. Occupying nearly 34,000 square metres, the annual trade fair has become a leading event of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region. Much of its success is due to an expanding range of new products on display and to special attractions allowing participants not only to conduct business but also to learn and forge new industry contacts. From the opening ceremony to gala evenings, cocktail receptions, special seminars and press conferences and breath-taking parades of new jewellery, the flurry of activity continues throughout the four-day event. During it all, buyers and sellers still find ample time to conduct business amid the product displays.

 

 

 

Swirling Industry Trends

Surround Show Preparations

SYMBOLICALLY, each exhibitor preparing for the 2002 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show must gaze deep into a crystal ball to anticipate the types of products most likely to cause sparkles in the eyes of international buyers.

Industry players in Hong Kong believe the popularity of the "white look" - various combinations of white gold, platinum, diamonds and pearls - will persist. White metal settings boost sales of better quality diamonds because higher-grade diamonds without a yellowish tinge look better against silvery-white backgrounds.

Yellow gold is starting a modest comeback in Europe and North America, and this may affect diamond sales. "With white metals, K, L and M diamond colours have been quite weak, and prices for these grades have declined," says Diamond Federation of Hong Kong chairman Lawrence Ma.

"Because the price differential has become so substantial, I believe jewellers will promote these diamonds in yellow gold. Consumers will be attracted because they can get a bigger diamond at a more affordable price."

The technique of setting several small diamonds close together to create the impression of a single, larger diamond is also popular. Black diamonds remain a niche item while brown or champagne-coloured diamonds also have devotees.

"Coloured stones, like pink tourmaline, and fancy-coloured sapphires (pink, yellow and green) are doing well," says Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers' Assn chairman Dennis Ng. But he says demand for many semi-precious stones has been slow.

Tahitian pearls and Chinese freshwater pearls are flooding markets and pushing prices down. A typical 10-11mm black Tahitian pearl is half the value of a decade ago. "Then, black pearls were over US$100 per piece. Now they are down to US$50," says Hong Kong Jewellers' & Goldsmiths' Assn chairman Leung Sik-wah.

Limits on production of South Sea pearls have kept those prices more stable at about US$150 per piece.

Rhodium-plated gold, which is oxidized for a blackened, antique effect, is one of the few identifiable market trends. Hoop earrings were the rage earlier this year, but that craze relented with no immediate strong seller emerging as a successor.

In any case, designer Edward Chiu, the owner of La Creation Jewellery Ltd, prefers to avoid fads and says he will decide at the last minute what to exhibit at the March show. "We always take risks with our designs," he says.

Chiu likes crafting custom-designed one-of-a-kind pieces. "I use all kinds of gemstones and pearls, coloured diamonds and both precious and semi-precious stones," he adds.

His designs may arise from the forms seen in nature or the personal qualities of clients. Finished pieces are tasteful and elegant, yet neither shy nor understated. "I like jewellery that is noticed. I like size. I like the power of that," Chiu says.

E & V Jewellery (HK) Ltd director Ester Chan claims to be unconcerned about economic undulations. "Whether economies are weak or strong, people always look for something different. How you position your products in the market is a big issue - bigger than what the timing is," she asserts.

Known for vividly colourful pieces, E & V (named for its founders, Ester and her sister Vivian) specializes in fashionable semiprecious stone jewellery.

"Our designs next summer will be a bit colourful, but next winter we will concentrate on black and white, using a lot of onyx and white porcelain," Chan says.

More casual lifestyles pave the way for simpler, more youthful-looking jewellery set with fewer stones. Jewellery that can be worn during the day is especially popular. But for higher-value items, classic looks still sell best.

Market Prospects Stay Positive

Despite Sprinkling Of Uncertainty

Ultimately, the driving force behind everything that happens at the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show is the interaction between buyers and sellers from around the world who converge at display booths in the exhibition halls. Eyes linger on new designs, fingers caress precious stones and then jab at calculator buttons, arms extend for handshakes and, finally, business deals are struck.

Amood of cautious optimism prevails among jewellery manufacturers as preparations proceed for the 2002 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, scheduled for 27 February until 2 March.

The annual show is regarded as an increasingly important international event and a post-Christmas indication of upcoming business.

"If sales at Christmas are strong, then March is a good time for business at the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show. If sales are weak, then business in March will probably be bad," says Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers' Assn chairman Charles Chan.

Many Hong Kong-based manufacturers cast their eyes to the US for signs of how consumers will spend their money. Since the US market absorbs about half Hong Kong's total jewellery exports, a flurry of news stories about hiccups in the US economy commands rapt attention.

Last year, Hong Kong's total jewellery exports reached US$2.13bn, up 25% on 1999. Hong Kong is the world's seventh-largest exporter of precious jewellery. Imitation jewellery accounts for about one-quarter of its total jewellery exports.

During the first five months of 2001, Hong Kong jewellery exports eased and ran 2% below the same period in 2000.

Hong Kong Jewellers' & Goldsmiths' Assn chairman Leung Sik-wah sees the slight decline as no cause for alarm. "We increased so much last year that we cannot do the same amount of business again this year," he declares.

Leung believes the one-two market combination of the US and Europe will continue to drive sales. "Right now the US economy is a little slow, but I think it will be okay."

Last year Europe was Hong Kong's second largest jewellery market with exports worth US$467m spread over 14 nations. Japan came next, buying Hong Kong jewellery worth US$146m. Other key markets are Taiwan (US$63m), Singapore (US$49m), Australia (US$31m) and the Chinese mainland (US$28m).

Diamond Federation of Hong Kong chairman Lawrence Ma predicts that business from the Chinese mainland will remain stable while demand from Europe, the US and Japan is less certain.

"The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show is attracting more Southeast Asian buyers. I am not pessimistic. I am cautiously optimistic. I still believe in the American economy, even though it has slowed down recently," he says.

One bright prospect is the Chinese mainland's entry into the World Trade Organization. "Membership in the WTO will improve the mainland's business environment. If the mainland relaxes its import tariffs, that will benefit its economy and international trade," Ma says. The mainland's import duty for jewellery is 36%.

Hong Kong is best known for producing medium to high-end jewellery. Its manufacturers are adept at creating fashion jewellery set with small stones. The most popular product category is gem-set jewellery, notably diamonds in 14K or 18K gold. Hong Kong is also a dominant production centre for jade jewellery and pure gold (chuk kam) items.

During the past decade, Hong Kong producers shifted much of their production to the Chinese mainland, where labour costs are modest. Yet domestic exports still account for 60% of Hong Kong's total jewellery exports, reflecting the reality that high-end production remains firmly concentrated in Hong Kong.

WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA

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