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Baselworld 2006: Hong Kong's Luxury Goods in Watches, Clocks, Jewellery met Positive Buyer Sentiment at Basel

  • 20th Participation at Swiss Fair
  • Industries Show Export Growth

Frankfurt am Main, April 20th, 2006 / No. 40

333 representatives of Hong Kong's jewellery and watch & clock industries displayed their high level up-to-date collections at BASELWORLD 2006 (30th March - 6th April) on 6,500 m2 of space. This represents the largest national pavilion at the leading Swiss trade fair.

The goods on offer ranged from Art Deco style through up-to-date fashion themes with trendy material-mix, to extravagant jewellery and watch showpieces in the luxury segment. The Hong Kong exhibitors also displayed the most exquisite gems, precious stones and pearls.

This year, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) pavilion comprised 169 jewellery, 134 watch & clock, 13 watch & clock parts and components as well as 17 packaging materials suppliers.

Overall, the Hong Kong delegation is happy with the orders concluded at the show. Most of the watch companies report better business than in 2005 due to good visitors' traffic and the positive buying sentiment. For this industry sector business had a brisk start right from the first day of the show.

The jewellery representatives' response varies. Some companies were successful, while some others reported slow traffic. The exhibitors claimed that this was due to the many international jewellery fairs taking place every year.

"It is very important for the HKTDC and the industries to be present at BASELWORLD", says Winchell Cheung, the HKTDC Director for Germany. "Quite a growing number of Hong Kong companies came to Basel with their own brands, a clear indication that the industries are moving more and more into higher market segments."

Mr. Sam Gin, Manager of HKJT - a jewellery manufacturer - confirms this. "The business was satisfactory and we were able to meet new buyers at the show. BASELWORLD is one of our important shows for business opportunities and for developing new business contacts."

Mr Oliver Reyle, Managing Director of Juweliere am Schloss in Bergisch-Gladbach - a buyer from Germany - took a lot of interest in the jewellery collection displayed at the Hong Kong stands: "The products are very nice and so colourful! I particularly like the innovative designs coming from Hong Kong", says Reyle.

With fierce global competition and low profit margins, the participation at Basel is becoming harder for Hong Kong companies. At the same time the industries are currently intensifying their ambitions to move up-market and to develop proprietary brands. The HKTDC is providing them support with roadshows, business missions and delegations at international fairs such as BASELWORLD.

The new features of the HKTDC pavilion such as the Hong Kong Caf? the Internet stations, the free broadband internet connection and the new stand lay-out were well received by buyers and delegates alike.

It is 20 years now since the HKTDC started organising the Hong Kong pavilion at Basel. This anniversary clearly shows the continued importance of BASELWORLD as a major forum for Hong Kong's watch & clock and jewellery industries. In fact, the show provides an excellent marketing platform for the two industries because the Hong Kong manufacturers usually generate a major part of their annual turnover at the Basel fair.

"The buying sentiment was strong this year", says Mr. Tse Wai Hang, Managing Director of NGA Co. Ltd. - a timepiece manufacturer. "The buyers were willing to place orders, it was much better than last year. Tight business appointments were still scheduled even on the fifth or sixth day, which did not happen in the past few years."

Dr. Lorenzo Aragona from Caterina srl, Naples, Italy, finds that Hong Kong products were getting better and better. The brand new watch company produces its own brand Colonna and buys metal bracelets from Hong Kong, leather straps from Italy so as to combine the best materials from each country.

Hong Kong Clocks & Watches Strongly in Demand

With a turnover of 5.9 billion USD in 2005, Hong Kong has been the second largest exporter of watches & clocks for many years now. The largest export item is battery-powered wrist watches, accounting for over 60% of total exports. Hong Kong's watch manufacturers are well-known all over the world for their modern manufacturing capabilities, their speedy delivery, their excellent service level and their high product quality in combination with outstanding design.

In 2005, watch and clock exports rose slightly by 1% as compared to the previous year. Exports to the EU increased by 1% to a total of 1.3 billion USD. They accounted for nearly a quarter of Hong Kong's total exports in this industry.

Hong Kong's Jewellery Industry Clearly on the Upswing

Since 2002, Hong Kong's precious jewellery industry has been on a continuous upswing. During this period, it has been posting an increase of about 16% to 20% every year. And for 2005, there is a new record high of 23% to (USD 3.3 billion)!

Hong Kong products are more affordable than foreign labels. In addition, Hong Kong brands have built a strong reputation for style, quality and craftsmanship.

Contact for the press:

Elke Brockmann, HKTDC,
Phone: +49 - (0)69 - 9 57 72 -161,
Fax: +49 - (0)69 - 9 57 72-200
Mobile: +49 - (0)160 - 472 20 54
E-mail: elke.brockmann@tdc.org.hk

Austria and Switzerland:
Daniela Konrad, HKTDC,
Phone: +49 - (0)69 - 9 57 72 -112,
Fax: +49 - (0)69 - 9 57 72-211
E-mail: daniela.konrad@tdc.org.hk

Information on the Internet: http://www.tdctrade.com/
Business contacts: http://sourcing.tdctrade.com

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