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May 31, 2013 12:04 AM   By Julius Zheng
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RAPAPORT... Shows Target Businesses and Consumers

The number of jewelry shows in China has surged from single digits to dozens in recent years and show organizers are busy scheduling stand-alone and serial shows in various cities. In Shanghai, there is so much activity that the names, dates and venues of the different jewelry shows are hard to keep track of and dealers and consumers are having difficulty choosing which to attend.

Emphasis on Retail
   Almost all jewelry shows in China accept exhibitors from both retail and wholesale groups, and invite visitors from the trade, as well as consumers. Recently, there has been a very clear trend of developing more shows toward the B2C side. Retailers’ exhibit booths often look like an extension of their brick-and-mortar stores. The bigger retail exhibitors commonly design their booths almost like a mobile store that can be built and dismantled overnight for movement to a new show venue.
   In addition to jewelry shows, diamond retailers also participate in wedding shows — a kind of B2C show covering the full range of wedding products — to increase their visibility and sales. Wedding shows are now accounting for an important part of the revenue for many diamond retailers, especially the online-based companies. But the profit from these shows can be small because the competition is very intense.

Jewelry Shanghai 2013
   Jewelry Shanghai 2013, which ran from May 10 through 13, is the most important trade show in East China, the biggest show in the first half of the year in Mainland China and one of the three largest jewelry shows in China. The other two are the Shenzhen Show in September and the Beijing Show in November. Jewelry Shanghai 2013 featured over 2,000 booths in two halls, with more than 1,000 exhibitors from 22 countries occupying a total area that exceeded 450,000 square feet.
   The Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) hosted its own SDE Pavilion this year, showcasing approximately 20 diamond exhibitors from the bourse. Eurostar Shanghai paid homage to China by displaying an 18.88-carat Forevermark diamond. The weight is a reference to the lucky Chinese number 888.
   Kaushik K. Mehta, Eurostar Diamond Traders chairman, explained, “We owe a large part of our success to the country and people of China. Our experience in China has been truly remarkable. We have witnessed first-hand an economic miracle and have grown alongside it.”
   There was also a large 120-booth pavilion from the Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers’ Association (HKJMA). The regional pavilions included a 150-booth Taiwan pavilion.
   For the exhibitors focused on wholesale sales, the general opinion was that the foot traffic and business were not as good as in 2012, and it was hard to tell what percentage was corporate buyers versus consumers. However, even if the onsite show sales were limited, many wholesalers felt they made contacts at the show that could lead to future deals.

First-Time Shanghai Exhibitors
   A dozen exhibitors from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) participated in a four-day networking program at the Shanghai show that included the first-ever Antwerp Diamond Pavilion. According to AWDC data, Greater China currently is the number one export destination for Antwerp’s polished diamonds. The totals for 2012 indicate 31.3 percent of Antwerp’s polished diamonds headed to Greater China, compared to 29 percent in 2011. Rough and polished diamond exports from Antwerp to the region increased by 73 percent between 2007 and 2012. Similarly, over the past five years, diamond imports from Greater China to Antwerp increased by 70 percent.
   In commenting on Antwerp’s presence in Shanghai, Ari Epstein, AWDC chief executive officer (CEO), said, “The Chinese market has a lot of potential. Driven by the economic developments in China and Hong Kong, diamond demand increased steeply the past few years. Our import and export figures are testimony to that evolution. We want to make sure Antwerp stays the preferred trading partner of both China and Hong Kong.”
   The Israeli diamond industry also had a national pavilion at Jewelry Shanghai for the first time this year that included 13 exhibitors, as well as an information booth sponsored by the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) Group of Companies. It was the first Israeli national pavilion at a show on the Chinese Mainland.
   IDI Chairman Moti Ganz explained that “The Israeli diamond industry is very interested in expanding our trade with this enormous and rapidly developing market. There has been a marked upturn in interest in diamonds and diamond jewelry in China and Israeli diamonds have been eagerly sought after. By exhibiting in China, we are demonstrating our belief in the Chinese economy and showing that we have made a strategic decision to intensify our efforts in this market.”
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