The Fine Design Pavilion at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Watch Fair, featuring top quality jewellery, diamonds, pearls and gemstones, has expanded by 12 per cent this year. Celine Lau Siu-man, CMP Asia's Jewellery Fairs manager, said 75 companies, eight more than last year, will be in the grand hall of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. 'This year there are 18 exhibitors from the United States, 11 from Italy, nine from Switzerland, six from Thailand, three from France, two each from Germany, Belgium, Israel and Britain, one each from India and Japan, and 18 from Hong Kong,' Ms Lau said. About 70 to 80 per cent are repeat exhibitors, while the rest are new companies, including some leading jewellery manufacturers from Italy and Switzerland. The majority of manufacturers who do not have a presence in Hong Kong will display high-value exhibits, including finished and unfinished products, and unique designs valued at billions of dollars. Fair organisers CMP Asia change the booth design once every three years, and this year the theme is 'Simplicity And Elegance'. 'We provide the exhibitors everything, including furniture, showcases and lighting. They only have to bring along their exhibits,' Ms Lau said. To enhance the atmosphere, there will be an exhibition lounge in the Fine Design Pavilion where buyers and sellers can discuss business in a relaxed, comfortable environment. As for security arrangements, Ms Lau said her company had several meetings with the police and security department to provide the best security possible at the fair. She also advised exhibitors to be extra careful about their exhibits. London exhibitor Laurence Graff, considered a leader in the world of diamonds and precious gems, is to showcase a range of handmade jewels that is expected to be one of the highlights of the fair. Exceptional blue, pink and yellow diamonds and stones mounted in simple settings are featured in the collection. According to the company, the main objective of their participation in the fair is to introduce the 'Hope Brand'. 'Hope' is one of the world's premium branded loose diamonds, cut and polished in South Africa by Krochmal and Cohen Diamond Cutting Works. All Hope diamonds are graded to superior specifications and laser inscribed on the girdle with the diamond grading report number. Laurence Graff said it continues to hold private exhibitions in Southeast Asia, and reported that sales were satisfactory. 'The market has slowed down slightly in Southeast Asia, but the substantial buyers have been buying.' The company, with outlets in London, New York and Monte Carlo, will open a new shop in Sloane Street, London at the end of the year. Laurence Graff, which works from the rough through to the finished product, has the largest facilities in the world for polishing and cutting diamonds, located in Johannesburg, and also facilities for buying rough diamonds directly from mines in South Africa.