8 Sept 2004
Hong Kong Jewellery Fair Update(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2004)
Hong Kong Jewellery Fair Update
A Dazzling Success
The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2005 looks set to be a sure-fire winner, given the runaway success of the 2004 event at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in March.
More than 1,300 exhibitors from 34 countries and regions attended the year's premier Asian jewellery show, which was jointly organised by the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China, Hong Kong Jewellers' & Goldsmiths' Association, Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers Association and the Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers' Association.
Buyer numbers also broke all previous records, attracting 24,912 attendees from 111 countries and regions, a turnout reflecting its global importance and appeal. Exhibitor numbers rose by 16.36% and buyer numbers increased 23.66% over 2003, further confirming the show's ever-increasing appeal to astute industry insiders worldwide.
"The response to this year's jewellery show was very gratifying and we expect an even more enthusiastic response and greater buyer and exhibitor numbers next year," says Anne Chick, senior exhibitions manager for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC).
One of the highlights of the 2004 show was the debut of Le Salon Extraordinaire, a showcase for fine jewellery meeting the very highest standards of design and craftsmanship.
Twelve jewellers from Hong Kong and the Philippines whose work met the high standards for display were featured in the salon and their exquisite work in gold, platinum, diamonds, pearls and gemstones was widely admired.
The Platinum Pavilion and the Japan Jewellery Association Pavilion featured for the first time at the event, while the Watch and Clock Pavilion that was one of the star debut attractions of the 2003 show was one of the busiest networking areas this year.
The Designer Jewellery Galleria also returned for the fifth year running, this time expanded to accommodate 32 international exhibitors including leading jewellers from France, Israel, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the US and Hong Kong.
Other highlights included a Latin-themed cocktail event at which exhibits from Le Salon Extraordinaire and the Watch and Clock Pavilion were paraded for guests, and a well-subscribed programme of seminars packed with valuable market intelligence.
Many participants were particularly interested in a seminar on the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland and the opportunities it offers Hong Kong's jewellery industry.
CEPA, which came into force on January 1 this year, provides early access to mainland markets for Hong Kong-based firms and reduces import tariffs to zero for "Made in Hong Kong" products, including several fine jewellery items.
The number of buyers from the Chinese mainland at this year's Hong Kong International Jewellery Show rose 54.79%, reflecting the increased interest in the jewellery sector following the introduction of CEPA. This was the largest increase from any geographical area, although the number of European buyers was also up 41.52% over 2003.
Both buyers and exhibitors were fulsome in their praise for the show and its organisers, in almost all cases stating an intention to return. "The success of the Hong Kong Show bodes well for the city as a destination where only the best events take place," maintains Yvonne Pong, marketing director of Wing Hang Diamond. "It also proves the importance of Hong Kong's jewellery business."
Robert Matulich, director of New Zealand wholesaler Heart of Gold Ltd and a third-time visitor, says his company buys about 20% of the jewellery it acquires annually either at the event, or as follow-on business. "I find the suppliers from Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland especially good here," observes Matulich, adding, "I'm after quality more than variety."
Chick concedes that the success of the 2004 show has given the organisers a hard act to follow with the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2005 at the HKCEC, from March 1-4 next year, but is confident that they will rise to the challenge of a still bigger and more varied event.
She notes that Hong Kong's jewellery exports soared 17% last year to US$2.85bn, with the biggest shipments going to the US (up 10%), the UK (up 19%), Japan (up 26%), Germany (up 26%), France (up 33%), Switzerland (up 15%), Italy (up 35%), Taiwan (up 40%), Singapore (up 9%) and the Chinese mainland (up 23%).
"Given the underlying health of the jewellery business in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland and the robust confidence in the future expressed by exhibitors and visitors to this year's show, we have good reason to believe we can mount an even better event next year," she concludes.
WRITTEN BY ROBERT PIERCE
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