Themed zones will make fair sparkle

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 March, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Kong is once again attracting a record number of jewellery exhibitors from around the world, all eager to outshine their competitors in the 25th edition of the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, which opens today.

Over the next five days, the Convention and Exhibition Centre will be home to over 2,300 exhibitors from 45 countries and regions, spanning over 67,000 square metres of the centre and displaying vintage jewellery, brand-name watches and designer jewellery.

'There are product sections set up for buyer convenience,' said Agnes Chan, senior exhibitions manager of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), adding that the two sections added last year (Antique & Vintage Jewellery and Jade Jewellery) are being staged again this year for a total of seven themed zones.

Buyers can browse around Treasures of Nature for a display of loose jewellery elements such as natural diamonds, pearls and precious stones, or tour the Watch & Clock Pavilion for a one-stop-shop environment for jewellery and timepieces.

Those with refined tastes might be interested in Le Salon Extraordinaire, where only premium and luxury jewellery are displayed, while the jeweller attracted to the 'evergreen appeal of jade' may examine the popular gems in the Jade Jewellery section.

The other three sections are: Designer Jewellery Galleria, featuring branded jewellery and designer collections; Les Salons Prives, split into a fine jewellery section and a diamonds section; and the Antique & Vintage Jewellery section, which showcases a selection of jewellery pieces from various time periods.

Ms Chan said the new diamonds section at Les Salons Prives would allow buyers and exhibitors to 'seal business deals in a private and exclusive setting'.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy more than 20 special events planned by the TDC, including a gala evening, seminars, jewellery parades and networking cocktails.

Renowned designer Lo Kai-yin is one of the industry heavyweights scheduled to speak at the event, and Simon Yau from the World Gold Council will 'share the secrets of design and provide updates on the gold industry', Ms Chan said.

However, the show is not limited to the industry's major players. Amateur jewellery designers will also have their time to shine as the finalist entries in the ninth Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition will be on display during the exhibition.

The competition is jointly organised by the TDC and major Hong Kong jewellery associations, and is open to students and aspiring designers in the industry.

Stella Au Chung-yin, first runner-up in the Student Group, said that the competition helped enhance the quality of locally made jewellery, and promoted Hong Kong jewellery products to international buyers at the show.

Hong Kong's jewellery industry is certainly impressive on a global scale.

Jewellery exports last year were up 16.7 per cent to US$4.34 billion and Ms Chan said that Hong Kong was the fourth-largest exporter of precious jewellery in the world.

She added that Hong Kong also enjoyed a global reputation in jewellery production.

'Hong Kong is leading in the production of pure gold items and has long been recognised as a major centre for the production of jade jewellery,' she said.

'[The city] has also evolved into a leading trading and distribution centre for pearls in recent years.'

The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show runs from 10.30am today until 5.30pm on Saturday and is open to trade only.