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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hong Kong Jewelry Fair Attracts 55,000 Buyers


The September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair trade fair capped its 34th edition with 55,768 unique buyers from 147 countries and regions.

The attendance, which still ranks the annual event as the top fine jewelry trade fair in the world, is a 3.2 percent decline from the prior year. It is the second consecutive year that the fair saw a drop in attendance. In 2015, the fair attracted 57,616 unique visitors, which was a 2.5 percent drop from the prior year. 

There was also a decline in the number of exhibitors at the fair. The 3,615 exhibitors from 55 countries and regions was a 3.6 percent decline over the prior year.

Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia, noted that the buyers remained optimistic and centered on large carat diamonds, precious stones, South Sea pearls, fine finished jewelry, tools, packaging and equipment. 

“We observed that the number of quality buyers remained steady at this edition; their presence is an encouraging sign that points to the jewelry industry’s continued development and significant growth,” Lau said. 

Certain countries showed growth in visitor numbers, among them: 

* India, up by 423 visitors, around 14-percent increase from last year; 

* Myanmar, up by 196 visitors or roughly 75 percent up from last year; 

* Belgium, up by 106 buyers or around 32 percent up from last year; 

* Australia up by 80 visitors or roughly 12 percent up from last year; Japan up by 78 visitors or 6 percent up from last year; 

* United Kingdom, up by 76 visitors or roughly 22 percent up from last year; and Israel up by 66 visitors or roughly 25 percent up from last year.


Below is an additional breakdown of visitor numbers at the Fair, held at the AsiaWorld-Expo from September 13 to 17 and the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from September 15 to 19:

* The number of visits recorded during the Fair was 118,799.

* Hong Kong-based visitors totaled 16,328, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the total number of visitors. The rest of the visitors: 39,440, or over 70 percent of the overall total, were from overseas.

* Top 10 sources of visitors: The largest group of visitors came from mainland China. At 17,412, the number of visitors from mainland China again surpassed the number of Hong Kong-based visitors. Hong Kong region follows with 16,328; India, 3,403; the United States, 1,948; Taiwan region, 1,670; Thailand, 1,605; Japan, 1,398; the Philippines, 1,144; Korea, 988 and Australia, 738. 

Commenting on the fact that 70 percent of the total number of visitors was from outside Hong Kong, Lau says this makes the September Fair a very good barometer of business sentiment in the jewelry industry. 

Lau added that the September Fair takes the lead in setting agenda that would contribute to the development of the jewelry industry. She noted the launch of a new initiative, called the “Declaration Programme on Exhibits of Natural Diamond.” Participants in the program had a poster from the initiative, demonstrating to buyers that diamonds from these exhibitors were natural. This program provided an easier and quicker way for buyers to make an informed decision when purchasing diamonds. Participants in the program were members of global diamond trade organizations, including the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, the Antwerp World Diamond Center, Belgium, and the Israel Diamond Institute.

“It is in our interest, and in the industry’s interest, that we provide a healthy and professional business environment,” said Wolfram Diener, senior vice president of UBM Asia. “The program ensures that buyers get the proper, sufficient information about the products being offered at our fairs. We know there is a market for both natural and synthetic diamonds, and we want to be a platform for both. We are happy to have both at our show, but it is important that the buyers are well informed.”

Lau added: “The feedback from the participants regarding this initiative was positive. They acknowledged that we are going in the right direction.”


Participants also saw improved security measures on “Identity Verification at Entrance” in place; UBM Asia initiated the enhancements last year.

During the September Fair, nine seminars, one diamond auction, two pearl auctions, one conference, four jewelry fashion shows and other special events were held at the two venues.

Next year, both the June Fair and the September Fair will reach new milestones: the June Fair will celebrate its 30th anniversary while the September Fair will celebrate its 35th anniversary. 

“We are planning some new features that will further enhance buyer experience at our shows,” Lau said. “We will launch a new theme pavilion named CORE, which will be located in Hall 1C-E at the HKCEC. It will house esteemed fine finished jewelry companies that have supported the Jewellery & Gem Fairs, and consider Hong Kong as the platform from which they grow their business. In the process, they have helped propel the city and witnessed its rise as a global jewelry industry powerhouse.” 

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet, the Forbes website and on Instagram @JewelryNewsNetwork

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