SCED's speech at Opening Ceremony of Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show 2014 (English only)
Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the Opening Ceremony of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show 2014 today (March 3):
Benedict (Chairman of the HKTDC Jewellery Advisory Committee, Mr Benedict Sin), Lawrence (Chairman of the HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show Organising Committees, Mr Lawrence Ma), Fred (Executive Director of the HKTDC, Mr Fred Lam), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to join you all at the Opening Ceremony of the first edition of the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show 2014.
Running into its 31st anniversary this year, the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show continues to be one of the world's top three jewellery exhibition events. It is encouraging to see that following years of resounding success and ever-increasing support from exhibitors and buyers, the show introduces a brand new concept of "two shows, two venues" this year, with the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show enticing buyers with jewellery raw materials at the AsiaWorld-Expo and the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show exhibiting finished jewellery products at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Hong Kong is one of the world's premier trading hubs for jewellery. Hong Kong manufacturers are very skilful in producing small stones jewellery with elements of contemporary fashion. Their gem-setting skills and design capability are impeccable and competitive compared with world-class European manufacturers. In 2013, Hong Kong's exports (Note) of precious jewellery exceeded HK$56 billion, a 7 per cent increase over 2012. I am confident that the new arrangement of "two shows, two venues" will bring about more business opportunities and further strengthen Hong Kong's role as a major trading platform for the industry. This year we have a record-breaking participation of over 3 800 exhibitors, a 14 per cent increase over last year.
Why am I confident that the jewellery show will be a success? It is because Hong Kong is an event capital with its state-of-the-art convention and exhibition facilities. We also have an efficient transport network, strategic location as the gateway to the Mainland China and Asian markets, business-friendly environment, and, of course, reliable and professional services. And that's why Hong Kong has been selected as the "Best Business City in the World" by the Business Traveller Asia Pacific magazine for five consecutive years since 2009. Readers of CEI Asia Pacific magazine also chose Hong Kong as the "Best City for MICE Events" in 2013. We will continue to promote Hong Kong as a premier MICE (meetings, incentive travels, conventions and exhibitions) destination and encourage more MICE events to be staged here.
Finally, I would like to commend the excellent efforts of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the four co-organisers in developing such a prestigious show in Hong Kong and in promoting Hong Kong's jewellery industry. I wish you all a most enjoyable and fruitful show.
Note: Export includes domestic export and re-export.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:30