Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair September 2019

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Exhibition Information

We had exhibited at September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, held at Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre for 5 days from 18/09/2019 to 22/09/2019.

Since our establishment of a local subsidiary in Hong Kong in 2007, we had faced difficulties such as the Lehman shock, the Senkaku Islands issue, Brexit, typhoon damage in Hong Kong last year, and so on. However, the current situation in Hong Kong seems to be in its worst condition ever. Demonstrations triggered by the revision of the ”fugitive ordinance” which began on June 9th in Hong Kong have been intensified. The number of demonstrators has grown to more than 2 million, and the Hong Kong police have begun firing warning shots at citizens.

Since Hong Kong was originally British territory, people in Hong Kong are familiar with laws close to the Western Europe, and even after Hong Kong reverts to China, Hong Kong people who adopted a country-two system seem not to accept the Chinese Communist Party Policy.Over the past few years, there had been a number of cases in which critics to China had been taken from Hong Kong to mainland China, and some Hong Kong citizens fear that they might be extradited to the mainland for any crime. And some fear that if the demonstration is further expanded, the Tiananmen Square Incident of the 21 century might occur.

Hong Kong demonstrators are calling for ”Five major requirements”; (1) complete repeal of the revised Fugitive Ordinance (2) withdrawal of the view that civil activity is a riot (3) suspension of the arrest and prosecution of demonstrators (4) Pursue responsibility for police violence and conduct external investigations (5) resignation of Chief Executive Lin Chung and realization of democratic elections. They said that if these five requirements would not meet, they will escalate the protest. Students in over 100 junior and senior high schools, also including major universities such as Hong Kong University, started boycotts, and they are raising their voice that the freedom is more important than study. In addition, some demonstrations are becoming increasingly radical, and clashes with police have been repeated. Over 200 people were arrested, 44 of whom were charged with serious rioting with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The more police crackdown on them, the more chain of distrust arises

In response, mainland China has strongly condemned the Hong Kong protests, calling for a tougher stance. China has also announced a large-scale development plan in Shenzhen and is moving away from Hong Kong.The new plan is positioned as part of the Greater Port Development Plan, which integrates the nine cities of the Special Administrative Region, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangdong Province. It seems that this plan is to make Shenzhen a city larger than Hong Kong, eliminate the differences in authority and influence between Hong Kong and the cities on the mainland, and weaken the power of Hong Kong and to make China as the center of this region.

On the 4th, Chief Executive Lim Chung announced the complete withdrawal of the revision of the Fugitive Ordinance, but on the contrary, the distrust of the government by the young people increased, and the requirement was expanded to the democratic elections to choose Chief Executive. There is no sign of the demonstration ending at this moment. The possibility of intensifying protests towards the 70th anniversary of the founding of China on October 1 is also rumored. The intensifying or protracted demonstrations are casting a shadow over Hong Kong’s economy, which represents Asia. Hong Kong is experiencing its first slow growth in about 10 years due to trade friction between the US and China. In addition to this, the demonstrations have delivered further blow to a decline in tourists and consumption, and further economic deterioration is certain.

The jewelry show held in Hong Kong in such a situation seemed to have fewer visitors than ever before. Since the demonstration was called anti-China demonstration, many Chinese buyers felt their lives were in danger and decided not to come.It seems that local residents in Hong Kong did not feel like buying jewelry, so there were few visitors. Only few people came from the other countries also.

The impact of trade friction between the US and China is also appearing in jewelry shows. The buyer from the US told me that if the goods purchased in Hong Kong are brought into the US, Hong Kong is regarded as China, so additional customs duties will be imposed, and that they will not be able to purchase them as before. Both politics and economics are beginning to have a major impact not only on our industry but also on each industry. In Hong Kong, there have been a number of corporate bankruptcies and the number of unemployed has been increasing.

This jewelry show made me think more about the future of Hong Kong and how jewelry shows will be, rather than about what kind of products we will sell. I believe the trend will change greatly in the future. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of you who came at this time. We hope to overcome this crisis and meet you again at the next jewelry show.