Hong Kong exhibitors will now be welcomed at the fair in the US city More than 100 Hong Kong jewellers are preparing to take part in the Las Vegas jewellery fair this month after the US organiser reversed an earlier decision to ban them from attending. The organiser, Reed Exhibitions, said yesterday Hong Kong exhibitors would be allowed to take part in the world's largest jewellery show, being staged from May 30 to June 3. The organiser said it had decided to allow Hong Kong exhibitors back into the main show hall in view of additional safety measures being taken over the Sars outbreak. But exhibiting staff are required by the organisers to leave Hong Kong 10 days before the show and to have health checks 48 hours before entering the fair. They must also present health certificates. Hong Kong jewellers yesterday welcomed the reversal but said they expected business orders from the Las Vegas fair this year would drop by 10 per cent from last year because of Sars fears. Patrick Luk, chairman of the Hong Kong Jewellery Manufacturers' Association, said some international buyers would be wary about visiting the Hong Kong pavilion due to concerns over the virus. As a result, orders clinched would be 10 per cent lower than the $3 billion achieved in the previous year, said Mr Luk. To recoup the potential loss, he said Hong Kong jewellers would contact their clients in the US before the fair opened. The association said 103 Hong Kong jewellers would attend the show. There have been nine withdrawals. The US decision came as Hong Kong garment manufacturers were given the all-clear to take part in the annual clothing manufacturing and sourcing trade fair, Fatex, in Paris yesterday. A spokesman for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council yesterday said the organisers of the Paris fair did not require Hong Kong garment makers to take any health checks. But the council suggested Hong Kong exhibitors each take a Sars blood test and have an X-ray examination. The spokesman said 21 exhibitors originally planned to attend the garment show but one withdrew after a staff member suffered a fever. The Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology, Henry Tang Ying-yen, said yesterday the government had been contacting organisers of international trade fairs to update them on the Sars situation in Hong Kong. He said Hong Kong's economic and trade offices in London, Washington and San Francisco had made efforts to communicate with the US organiser and US authorities on the Las Vegas show. 'I believe the joint effort is beginning to pay off.' he said. The general manager of the Hong Kong Jewellery Manufacturers' Association, Chow Bing-kuen, yesterday warned that the US exhibitors might put pressure on the organisers requiring them to ban Hong Kong exhibitors at the show. The decision could be changed at the last minute, he said.