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The Hong Kong Jewelry Fair: BRICS foot traffic upped 8%

28 february 2012

From February 16 to 20, Hong Kong hosted the 29th International Jewellery Show considered the largest spring-time exhibition event in Asia. The show can be viewed successful in many respects: by the number of participants, attendance, media coverage and generally positive feel the Fair breathed into the jewelry industry.

According to the principal organizer, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), over 3,100 participants from 48 countries displayed their exhibits at the Fair, which is 8% more than in 2011. It also registered a record number of visitors – 38,000 people. Last year, there were one thousand less. If the total attendance increased by 3%, the number of buyers from the rapidly developing countries of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grew by 8%.

“Rapid economic development in the emerging markets, especially the Chinese mainland, has resulted in an expanding middle-class, which in turn is creating huge product demand. The HKTDC will continue to step up publicity in these emerging markets to help Hong Kong SMEs capitalise on the opportunities,” HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau said.

The efforts made by HKDTC to promote the vernal jewelry fair in Hong Kong were evidenced in the traditional markets as well. For example, the Council organized a showroom at the JCK Show in Las Vegas in June 2011 with a view to disseminate information about the Hong Kong Fair and develop jewelry trade in Hong Kong. Interestingly, last June the organizers had more modest expectations from the exhibition: they assumed it would bring together 2,750 exhibitors from 44 countries and about 32,000 customers (according to the information from the HKDTC advertising booklet distributed at JCK Las Vegas).

This year, the organizers also prepared a video commercial about the fair, which is available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/hktdc. The video story introduces viewers to the opinions expressed by various parties and shows how exhibition halls looked like and even demonstrates some jewelry pieces. Given the fact that to photograph or take video at high-level jewelry exhibitions requires special authorization, this commercial provides a good opportunity to attend the event on-screen.

The Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) announced a record number of companies taking part in the display of the Israel Diamond Pavilion. The exposition attracted over 70 IDI members, while a further 20 Israeli firms were showcasing their exhibits in other halls, according to the Jeweller Magazine. Nissim Palomo, chief marketing officer for the IDI, said the Israel pavilion was the largest at the Hong Kong Fair taking over 1,000 square metres of exhibition space. He explained Israel’s strong presence at the Fair by the growing importance of the Asian region.

India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) also said that the number of exponents in the Indian pavilion went up by 90 this year.

Konstantin Zakirov, a buyer from Russia, said he attended the show “to source silver, cubic zirconia, gold and diamond jewellery.” “I’ve already met some good suppliers from Hong Kong and Thailand. And I am going to place US$1-US$2 million worth of orders here,” he said.

The success of the Hong Kong spring Fair gave rise to numerous publications with optimistic predictions about the jewelry industry coming out of crisis and improved mood among buyers waking up from hibernation.

Dasha Platonova, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough&Polished