By Man Young Sze •
27 December 2019
Dedicated to promoting the development of Hong Kong’s pearl industry, the Hong Kong Pearl Association is actively playing its role in strengthening the connection between China and Hong Kong.
The association plans to organise pavilions at trade fairs in China to expand business networks and find opportunities for its members.
HKPA’s members celebrate their annual dinner
Michael Sze, president of Hong Kong Pearl Association
The Hong Kong Pearl Association (HKPA) is aiming to expand its presence in China by organising pavilions at trade fairs there in the next two years.
According to Michael Sze, president of HKPA, the association is committed to further strengthening the freshwater and saltwater pearl industries in Hong Kong and China by maintaining strong connections between the two governments.
Sze remarked, “Depending on the Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales or BUD Fund, initiated by the Hong Kong government, we hope to organise pavilions in major trade fairs in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, among other destinations, by yearend or the first quarter of next year.”
This initiative will help Hong Kong businesses extend their foothold in the Chinese market while facilitating the pearl industry's steady development, he continued.
The association is bent on bringing the freshwater pearl industry to an international level by helping its members explore new markets, improving the image of freshwater pearls and enhancing Hong Kong's status as a freshwater pearl trading hub, according to Sze.
The continued development of the pearl industry also brought forth modern and diversified jewellery designs. These in turn have given pearls a more fashionable appeal, which is crucial to attracting younger consumers.
The market's preference has since shifted from classic pearl bead necklaces to novel design elements. More importantly, the jewellery industry is inevitably transitioning to an information-based sector, which requires authenticity. Besides enhancing the quality of pearls, the industry also has to strengthen its marketing strategies to shore up Hong Kong's position and influence in the pearl export market.
According to Sze, the quality of freshwater pearls has transformed over the past 10 years, and the emergence of nucleus pearls has changed the global market structure.
“In the past, freshwater pearls were seedless. It was rare to grow pearls of 12mm to 13mm in diameter,” the HKPA official said. “With the advent of nucleus freshwater pearls and advancements in farming technology, the quality of freshwater pearls has tremendously improved and some nucleus pearls can be nurtured to over 20mm. Bleaching technology also enhances the quality, which will become a market focus in the future.”