|Members of the board of directors of the ICA and staff of the new Hong Kong office. Photo credit: ICA|
In another example of Asia’s newfound dominance in the jewelry industry, the International Colored Gemstone Association has moved its international headquarters to Hong Kong from New York. The new offices are located in Hong Kong's gems and jewelry manufacturing district and are run by a team of English and Chinese speaking staff, led by Daniel Leung, executive assistant to the president.
The ICA, which will maintain a presence at a new location in New York, says the decision to move its head office is aimed at bringing the organization into closer touch with the rapidly expanding Asian markets, and to actively participate in the further development of the colored gemstones and jewelry industry in the region. In addition, ICA is seeing an expansion in its membership in Asia, and the Hong Kong offices will enable it to better serve them, says ICA President Wilson Yuen.
"This was not a decision that we made easily, and it followed a great deal of debate," Yuen says. "Our international offices have been based in New York for many years. But we felt that we could not ignore the trends that are sweeping our industry and the global economy in general.
"Asia in general, and China in particular, is claiming a larger role in international business, and it is imperative that we are based in the heart of the region to enable us to provide a comprehensive service to our membership and to the industry,” he adds. “This is what it is expected of the ICA.”
The transition being overseen by former ICA executive director, Barbara Wheat.
The new Hong Kong offices were opened July 9 at a special in-house inauguration ceremony attended by ICA board of directors.
ICA is a non-profit worldwide organization that represents the global colored gemstone industry. Founded in 1984, it’s now comprised of almost 700 gemstone dealers, cutters and miners from 47 countries.