The National Gem & Jewelry Authority (NGJA) of Sri Lanka, with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Consulate in Hong Kong, organized for the first time the Sri Lanka Pavilion, at the prestigious Hong Kong International Jewelry Show, Asia’s largest jewelry event, and the World’s third largest jewelry fair, held for the 28th successive year, from March 4-8, 2011, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, situated at No.1, Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. This is in keeping with the expanded promotional program undertaken by the NGJA, on an initiative by its new Chairman General Rohan Daluwatte, targeting major international jewelry shows, taking place in countries such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Malaysia and Turkey. Participation in the Hong Kong International Jewelry Show, in addition would be supplementary to the overall strategy of the NGJA in popularizing Sri Lanka’s fine quality gems and gem-studded jewelry in China, which is rapidly emerging as the World’s biggest consuming nation of jewels and jewelry, with total jewelry sales of 30 billion USD in the year 2010, and the fact that Hong Kong is the main gateway to this enormous market.
Hong Kong had been a traditional marketing outlet for gem and jewelry produced in Sri Lanka since colonial times, from where such products eventually found their way to the main consuming nations of Europe, the United States and Japan. Thus, many gem and jewelry traders in Sri Lanka have had a long business relationship with their counterparts in Hong Kong, and several of them had been taking part in the Hong Kong International Jewelry Show unofficially as individual exhibitors for many years. This was reflected this year too at the 28th-Edition of the show. While the official Sri Lanka Pavilion organized by the NGJA had only four exhibitors, fourteen other Sri Lankan gem and jewelry traders had also taken part in the show as individual exhibitors. Main attraction at the Sri Lanka Pavilion and the stalls of the individual Sri Lanka exhibitors, was the Sri Lankan blue sapphire, popularized by the royal engagement ring, incorporating an 18-carat cornflower-blue Sri Lankan sapphire as its centerpiece, given by Prince William, the second-in-line of succession to the British throne to his fiancée Kate Middleton at the time of their engagement in November 2010. The buyers were mesmerized by the Sri Lankan sapphires displayed at the stalls, which also helped to project the image of Sri Lanka as the “Sapphire Capital of the World.” The Sri Lankan exhibitors at the show were successful in clinching several orders for fine quality gems and calibrated sapphires. The Sri Lanka Pavilion was visited by His Excellency Dr. Thomas Cheung, Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Hong Kong, who inspired the participants and congratulated the NGJA for continuing with the “National Pavilion” concept which NGJA first initiated in 1991 at a leading exhibition in Hong Kong.
The following photographs taken at the show highlights intense buyer/consumer interest:-