April 14, 2004
Hong Kong Back at Basel in Force
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council announced Basel that it's hosting the largest delegation of its exhibitors ever to appear at BaselWorld, a record 333 companies, says Frederick Lam, who has been promoted from deputy executive director to executive director of HKTDC, effective May 1. Last year, more than 300 Hong Kong exhibitors were barred from opening their booths at BaselWorld due to Swiss concerns over the then-rampant SARS virus.
BaselWorld opens April 15 with a new Hall 6, housing overseas nonbranded exhibitors, including the Hong Kong delegation. The overseas groups were in Zurich last year, but Basel show management moved the group back to Basel this year after locating and refurbishing new exhibit space in the city. The Hong Kong group is once again the third largest exhibitor group at BaselWorld.
HKTDC also released export figures for 2003. Despite challenging world economic conditions and the SARS crisis, its 2003 jewelry and watch sectors flourished. Watch and clock exports increased by 9% to $5.4 billion, while precious jewelry exports rose 17% to $2.2 billion. The United States was the biggest destination for Hong Kongšs jewelry with 55% of its goods delivered there. Europe received the greatest number of Hong Kong watch exports at 24%, with the U.S. receiving 22%.
HKTDC also says both watch and jewelry exports increasingly include branded lines, in keeping with the worldwide push towards branded goods.
by Peggy Jo Donahue