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Sales of Jewellery on Rapid Rise

Jewellery consumption in the country is expected to hit 200 billion yuan (US$24.2 billion) in 10 years, according to sources with the Gemological Association of China.

In 1982, jewellery sales in the country stood at only 100 million yuan (US$12.1 million). But now, yearly sales total 100 billion yuan (US$12.1 billion).

"Judging by this speed, sales in 2013 may double," said Wang Yongqing, deputy secretary-general of the association during the Jewellery Shanghai 2004 convention held from Tuesday to Friday.

"Nowadays China is a big consumer market for jewellery," Wang added.

Yearly sales of platinum hit 1.5 million ounces, which is 52 percent of global consumption. The yearly consumption of gold is 240 tons, which ranks third in the world. Sales of diamond ornaments have made a breakthrough of 10 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion) in sales making China the biggest market for diamonds in Asia.

The jewellery industry has a long history in the country, but for historical reasons, the market wasn't developed until 1982, the expert said.

From 1982 to 1991, gold ornaments occupied the whole market. Diamond, jade, pearl and other precious stones appeared one after another in the 1990s.

"Amid such a background, the exhibition this time is an opportunity for the sale and production of jewellery," said Hou Jie, General Manager with Broadway Exhibition Service, one of the event's organizers.

The exhibition has attracted about 200 jewellery producers from 21 countries and areas.

With CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) launched between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, the tax for jewelry in these areas dropped from 35 percent to zero if the products meet the requirements of China Customs. With such a preferential policy, jeweler from Hong Kong and Macao can more easily enter the domestic market.

"With CEPA's preferential conditions and a more open market, I believe more Hong Kong and overseas retailers would come to the domestic market, which also brings a lower price and trendy designs for local consumers," said Li Jiansheng, chairman of Guangzhou Panyu Jeweler Manufacturers Association.

(China Daily March 31, 2004)

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