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Sunday, Oct 01, 2023

Big smiles very much on display at jewelry show

Big smiles very much on display at jewelry show

Traders and exhibitors attending the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show are thrilled to have business talks without masks for the first time in three years.
The five-day jewelry show which started on Wednesday is the first large-scale trade exhibition since the government lifted the mask mandate and all social distancing measures.

The show had over 2,500 exhibitors from 36 countries and regions. A long queue to register for entry to the venue was seen yesterday.

A buyer from the mainland said he planned to spend tens of thousands of dollars to buy jewelry on each day of the show. Another buyer was overjoyed to participate in the show without wearing a mask: "As there are no restrictions, it's really good to come and enjoy the jewelry show in-person. You can see and feel the products, as well as meet with the exhibitors."

Meanwhile, exhibitors found the atmosphere at the show wonderful and said many of their customers were from Southeast Asia and Europe.

One exhibitor said the physical jewelry show is essential to the industry: "Jewelry is not like clothes - you have to look at it in-person. Also for gems, the prices vary a lot with a slight difference in their colors. Unfortunately some customers told me they couldn't make it in since the queue was so long."

Another exhibitor, from Italy, said he brought a new collection to the show, hoping to attract more buyers.

"It was easier to understand our friends and customers [without wearing masks]," he said. "There are lots of markets and people going around. For this reason, we are happy to see a new era of the jewelry market."

Lau Hak-bun, director of the Kowloon Pearls, Precious Stones, Jade, Gold and Silver Ornament Merchants Association, said visitors on the first day were mostly mainlanders while about half of the exhibitors were local.

"It is a crucial moment now as we don't need to wear a mask and we can meet each other with our smiley faces," Lau said.

He said the jewelry show has been a mega event to the industry, adding that the atmosphere was more enthusiastic than he expected.

Deputy executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council Sophia Chong Suk-fan said the jewelry show is the first large-scale exhibition after Hong Kong returned to normalcy, as it saw over 40,000 buyers registered before the show commenced.

"More than half of the exhibitors were from outside Hong Kong," she said. "Many of the visitors have taken off their masks and enjoyed champagne while having luncheon with exhibitors."

Chong added that the council also gathered some 100 groups of buyers from 70 countries and regions to the jewelry show.

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