Smaller show gets a new home at the international expo centre at Chek Lap Kok THE HONG KONG Jewellery and Watch Fair and Asia's Fashion Jewellery and Accessories Fair will be held in different venues from next year to allow room for both shows to grow, according to organiser CMP Asia. The fairs, which start today and run until Tuesday, are held concurrently in June and again in September each year at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Next year, Asia's Fashion Jewellery and Accessories Fair will move to Chek Lap Kok's International Exhibition Centre. 'The September fairs are taking up the maximum space available at the HKCEC,' said jewellery fairs manager for CMP Asia, Celine Lau Siu-man. 'We can't give additional space to exhibitors who want bigger booths. After we split the shows there will be room for the September shows to grow.' 'For the convenience and benefit of exhibitors and buyers, the June fashion jewellery fair will also be moved to make the new venue its home,' she said. The Jewellery and Watch Fair has drawn 811 exhibitors, taking up 22,000 square metres of exhibition area, while the fashion jewellery fair has 501 exhibitors in 17,000 square metres of space - 50 per cent larger than last year. In the much larger September Jewellery and Watch Fair last year, 1,952 exhibitors occupied an area of 60,000 square metres. This left no room for the fashion jewellery show to grow, capping the number of exhibitors at 160. 'We expect 250 exhibitors [at the September fashion jewellery fair next year] after the change in location,' Ms Lau said, adding that shuttle buses would allow buyers to visit both fairs. The September Jewellery and Watch fair is the biggest of its kind in Hong Kong and one of the three largest in the region. Letitia Chow Mei-lai, CMP Asia director of development - jewellery group, said buying interest was usually high at the September fairs because of the impending Christmas and New Year peak sales period, but the June fairs still brought buyers out to stock up for the year end. She expected overall growth in jewellery trading volumes to slow this year after last year's surge. Trade statistics indicate that total exports of precious jewellery rose 19 per cent to more than $20 billion last year. Imitation jewellery exports grew 27 per cent to $6 billion. 'Last year was a record year, with double-digit growth. This year, we don't think we are likely to grow at a similar rate or break last year's record, but it will still be strong,' Ms Chow said. Buyer turnout is also expected to be strong, with 45 per cent more overseas visitors having registered two weeks before the show. Last June, a total of 18,000 trade buyers and visitors attended the fairs. The jadeite pavilion launched for last September's show will feature in this month's fair and two pavilions for Belgium and Japan have been added. A seminar on the Hoklas Jadeite Jade Laboratory ISO 17025 Accreditation Scheme will be held on Tuesday, with speakers from the Hong Kong Accreditation Service. This month's fairs follow on from the China International Gold, Jewellery & Gem Fair held in Guangzhou from last Sunday to Wednesday. That fair provides a platform for mainland buyers and sellers who may not attend the Hong Kong show to meet regional buyers. 'Our strategy is to use the Hong Kong fairs to build the China platform because [they] can draw regional visitors,' Ms Chow said.