The September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair capped its 34th edition on Sept. 19 with 3,615 exhibitors from 55 countries and regions.
The trade fair brought 55,768 unique buyers from 147 countries and regions.
Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia, noted that the traffic 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 were India, up by 423 visitors, about a 14 percent increase from last year; Myanmar, up by 196 visitors or roughly 75 percent over last year; Belgium, up by 106 buyers or around 32 percent over last year; Australia, up by 80 visitors or roughly 12 percent over last year; Japan, up by 78 visitors or 6 percent over last year; the United Kingdom, up by 76 visitors or roughly 22 percent over last year; and Israel, up by 66 visitors or roughly 25 percent over last year.
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. She added that the September Fair takes the lead in setting agenda that would contribute to the development of the jewelry industry. As such, this edition saw the launch of a new initiative, called the “Declaration Programme on Exhibits of Natural Diamond.” Participants in the program had on display at their booths a “Declaration Programme on Exhibits of Natural Diamond” poster, which demonstrated clearly 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 organisations, including the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, the Antwerp World Diamond Center, Belgium, and the Israel Diamond Institute.
Wolfram Diener, senior vice president of UBM Asia, said at the press conference: “It is in our interest, and in the industry’s interest, that we provide a healthy and professional business environment. 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 parades and other special events were held at AWE and HKCEC.\
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,” said Ms Lau. “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. The pavilion is a must-visit for jewelers in search of the world-class jewelry and excellent service Hong Kong is known for.”