By Man Young Sze •
31 December 2019
The pearl sector was inevitably affected by global economic uncertainties in 2018. With slight improvements in the market however, dealers are taking a more optimistic stance moving forward.
Tu Xingcai (right), president of the Shenzhen Pearl Industry Association
Tu Xingcai gives a speech at the Shenzhen Pearl Industry Association inaugural ceremony
China's pearl industry is one of the most resilient markets in the region. With stable operations, more and more companies are entering the pearl business.
According to Tu Xingcai, president of the Shenzhen Pearl Industry Association and chairman of Shenzhen Matis Jewelry Co Ltd, a recent tax reduction in China as well as strong equities market in the beginning of the year were crucial in the continued development of the pearl sector.
“Market demand is there but industry players should make an extra effort to improve product design and marketing. As long as the products meet customer needs, business prospects will remain promising," noted Tu.
Building strategic ties is likewise critical to sustaining growth.
Tu emphasised that the Shenzhen Pearl Industry Association functions as a bridge between the industry and the government to improve communication and partnerships, as well as give advice and establish industry standards.
The association earlier forged a strategic cooperation with the Hong Kong Pearl Association, the Tahitian Pearl Association Hong Kong and a few China-based associations advocating design and intellectual property. The aim was to further promote sharing of resources, and interactive communication and learning among members; encourage them to expedite upgrades, and actively get involved in the development strategy of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.
According to Tu, the Shenzhen Pearl Industry Association also expects to offer Shenzhen's pearl products to overseas markets through the Belt and Road strategy. In May, the group organised a delegation to Japan to assess its pearl farming technology.
In addition, the association is also promoting “talent training” such as organising courses on e-commerce selling.
Tu acknowledges the gap between China and Japan or Australia in terms of pearl market development. China's pearl industry however is making strides in innovation. For instance, Zhejiang OSM Group Co Ltd is expanding beyond its business scope by developing a pearl-based skincare brand. China's only public pearl company, Pure Pearl Group Co Ltd, meanwhile now owns more than 30 patented technology.
Tu likewise lauded Beihai City for working to revive its South Sea pearl industry. “Beihai is the home of China's South Sea pearls. The government's strong support in terms of equipment and policy will definitely help optimise the business environment for China's beloved pearls,” he continued.