Speech by SCED at opening reception of HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show 2017 (English only)
Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the opening reception of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show 2017 today (February 28):
Kent (Chairman of the HKTDC Jewellery Advisory Committee, Mr Kent Wong), Lawrence (Chairman of the HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show and the HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show organising committees, Mr Lawrence Ma), Margaret (Executive Director of the HKTDC, Ms Margaret Fong), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon. I am delighted to join you all today.
Dazzling, precious and versatile, something so small but so beautiful, and worth so much. I am not just talking about jewellery. Something else also shares these remarkable traits.
Known as the "Pearl of the Orient", Hong Kong is famous for its glamorous and impressive skyline. And despite the relatively small size and population, Hong Kong is the eighth largest trading entity in the world. Likewise, the dazzling and beautiful jewellery might not weigh a whole lot, but they have certainly brought us huge economic benefits.
Last year, our total export value of precious jewellery, pearls, gem stones and semi-precious stones was about US$27 billion. This means business for sure, but it also underlines our position as the world's premier jewellery trading and production hub, a status which we have earned, thanks to the impeccable craftsmanship and innovative designs of our jewellery manufacturers.
No wonder we have today the largest jewellery marketplace in the world. This is the fourth consecutive year that the concept of "two shows, two venues" has been adopted, with this show attracting buyers with a wealth of dazzling jewellery raw materials from fancy diamonds and precious gem stones to pearls here at the AsiaWorld-Expo; and the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2017 starting in two days' time to showcase all kinds of finished jewellery, from fine masterpieces to trendy, youthful jewellery collections.
Together the twin shows have attracted over 4 400 exhibitors from over 50 countries and regions and offer the connections and platforms for buyers to source a wide variety of exquisite jewellery, and for exhibitors to expand their businesses into the world.
I would like to congratulate the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the four co-organisers for their magnificent work in putting together such a prestigious show in Hong Kong and in promoting Hong Kong's jewellery industry.
I am particularly pleased to see so many friends returning to the twin shows year after year. Your return means you have made good connections and good businesses here. Congratulations, and I wish you the best of business, as always. For those of you who have come here for the first time, this is a treasure trove of inspiration and resources. I am sure you will find something precious and will keep coming back for more.
I wish the twin shows another great success, and our visitors an enjoyable stay.
Ends/Tuesday, February 28, 2017