Hong Kong jewel fair aims to open up China's riches

Modern-day China's seemingly insatiable appetite for luxury goods will be the primary focus on Asia's largest spring jewelry fair, which kicks off next week.

The 28th Hong Kong International Jewellery Show ( www.hktdc.com/hkjewelleryshow) will run March 4-8 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and has this year attracted more than 2,500 exhibitors, placing the event in league with the likes of the massive annual Inhorgenta Europe fair in Munich (February 25-28,  http://www.inhorgenta.com/) according to organizers. The spring event is held as a precursor to the annual September jewelry fair in Hong Kong - which bills itself as the largest of its kind in the world.

A recent report from the brokers CLSA claims China will account for 44 percent of the world's luxury market by the year 2020 - triple the share it holds now. In the next 10 years it is also estimated that China's demand for gold alone will double.

And Hong Kong's Trade Development Council - which helps organize the jewelry fair - says the event is positioned as "a gateway to the vibrant mainland jewelry market, but also acts as an effective platform to exploit opportunities in other parts of the world."

"In 2010, Hong Kong's total exports of fine jewelry amounted to HK$34.6 billion (3.3 billion euros)," said a TDC spokesman.

Hong Kong is ranked as the fourth largest exporter of fine jewelry in the world, after Italy, the United States and Switzerland.

More than 44 countries will be represented at this year's Hong Kong fair, and the major companies attending include Israel's LILI Diamonds from Israel, Euro Pearls from the UK and Michael Gad Emerald from the US.

As part of promotions for the event, organizers Monday announced the winners of the 12th Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition, which attracted more than 350 entries.

Winner of the Open Group category for Best of Show went to "Spring Vitality," created by Cheng Chan Man Chi of G-Link Jewelry Design Ltd. A designer for 13 years, Cheng explained at a press conference that her piece "captures life about to bloom.''

The official Partner Country for the 2011 event will be Italy.

28th Hong Kong International Jewellery Show
March 4-8
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre