By Bernardette Sto. Domingo
The 5th Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show and the 35th Hong Kong International Jewellery Show ended on a positive note, with exhibitors and buyers reaffirming Hong Kong’s status as an important sourcing platform for the global jewellery industry.
Jewellery piece by Goldiaq Creation Ltd
Steady optimism pervaded the 2018 editions of the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show and the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, with the organiser reporting a 2 percent increase in buyer turnout to about 87,000 compared to last year.
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the twin shows featured more than 4,550 exhibitors. According to Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of HKTDC, the higher number of buyers and the upbeat sentiment that permeated the fairs further cemented Hong Kong’s status as an important sourcing platform for the global jewellery industry.
“With improving global economic conditions, Hong Kong’s exports of precious jewellery rose 3.6 percent last year. We are delighted that exhibitor attendance at both shows was the highest in years, and that attendance of both local and overseas buyers set new records,” noted Chau.
The HKTDC official revealed that exhibitors were generally satisfied with the shows’ outcome. “In terms of attendance, buyers from Japan, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran and Turkey recorded significant growth, reflecting the market potential of these countries. Hong Kong companies should capitalise on the opportunities presented by these markets,” Chau remarked.
Citing the quality of buyers that visited their booths, some exhibitors commented that this year’s Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show was better than last year despite slower traffic.
Aung Kyaw Zin of coloured gemstone specialist SP Gems said he entertained serious buyers from the Middle East and China. He also expressed optimism about business in 2018, saying top-quality products will always have a strong following.
Hans-Georg Wild, CEO of Wilds Company Ltd, meanwhile said he closed significant business deals with important clients who were partial to investment items.
For his part, Jürgen Schütz, president of Emil Weis Opals said he liaised with buyers from China, the US, Europe and Taiwan. “All our products, from black opals to Mexican fire opals, were sought after. Overall, we remain upbeat about the opal business as more designers use opals in their creations.”
Venus Jewel International Managing Director Mahiar Borhanjoo, meanwhile, said the 2018 edition was better than last year’s. “I think we had the right product base for the customers that actually came. People were clear on what they wanted to buy and they did come and buy. They weren’t just window shopping. There was a mixture of buyers from Asia and outside of Asia. It was nice to see such a balance,” he revealed.
At the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, Victor Yiu of Zuri Jewellery said his company’s new collection, “A Joyous Journey,” commanded attention from large retailers including a major industry player from China. He added that buyers from Indonesia, the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam also expressed keen interest in the collection.
Buyers doing the rounds at the AsiaWorld-Expo
An exhibitor displays a coloured gemstone necklace
HKTDC reports strong buying activity at the shows’ 2018 editions
Pearl jewellery by Seibido Pearl Co Ltd
A buyer inspecting a gemstone at the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show
Buyers were likewise in high spirits, with some of them reporting having done business with existing and potential suppliers, and finding a wide range of high-quality products.
Mete Boybeyi, owner of Turkish company Boybeyi, said he purchased US$150,000 worth of diamonds from three exhibitors from Israel, India and China and sourced up to US$1 million worth of high-quality jewellery. He said that the “two shows, two venues” format allowed for easier and more efficient sourcing of suitable products.
Abhijit Achwal, general manager of UAE-based Soft Touch Jewellers LLC, said he identified six to seven new suppliers during the show, where he also bought US$100,000 worth of pearl jewellery and US$40,000 worth of gold and diamond bangles.
For his part, Haim Miller, owner of Israeli company Miller Shops & Galleries Ltd, said he bought gold and diamond jewellery as well as raw materials including pearls and gemstones.