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ITALIAN JEWELLERY AIMS TO CONQUER POSITIONS IN JAPAN AT THE IJT FAIR
The figures keep on pointing upwards for the International Jewellery Tokyo (IJT) fair, one of the most important trade events for the jewellery sector in the Asian continent. Having reached its 19th edition, the fair keeps on attracting more and more exhibitors and visitors. Italy will also be present at the 2008 edition, taking place on the 23-26th January: the Italian Trade Commission (ICE) is organising, for the fourth consecutive time, an official delegation of Italian firms.
The International Jewellery Tokyo is becoming an increasingly unmissable event for the Italian jewellery industry: Japanese consumers traditionally show great appreciation for Italian products in this sector. Moreover, internal demand for luxury goods has constantly picked up in the last few years: after the slump of the previous ten years, since the second half of 2005 sales in Japan have embarked on a cautiously upward trend, reaching 1,272.8 billion yen in 2006.
In the first four months of 2007 Italy has confirmed its position as one of the main suppliers of jewellery for the Japanese market, with a 14.6% share of total imports. In particular, Italy is the leading supplier in the gold chain niche, with a 77% market share, and holds the second position as far as gold jewellery in general is concerned, with a 21.2% share. Its share is significant also for silver jewellery (13.8%). Taking into account a longer period, the total value of Italian jewellery exports to Japan in the first eight months of 2007 increased by 20.24% to 2.98 billion euros (ICE source), compared to the same period in 2006. At the same time, the trade balance rose to 2.11 billion euros compared to 1.74 billion. Yet in absolute terms, Japan still accounts for a low share of Italy‚Äôs exports: over the January-August period in 2007 it came 17th on the list of importing countries, with a total value of imports totalling 42 million euros.
Italian firms will thus travel to Japan with the intention to defend their market positions and open new trade and distribution links, showing the value of their products to the 55,000 visitors expected at the 2008 edition of IJT. The figure would represent a 12% increase compared to four years before: in 2004 there were 33,121 visitors, which rose to 34,623 in 2006 and 38,358 in 2007. They are mostly Asian buyers who take the opportunity to inspect an extremely wide range of products, without having to travel extensively. In the last five years there has also been an increase in the number of exhibitors: from 1,189 in 2004 to an expected 1,700 in the next edition. The record from 2007 ‚Äď when 1.638 exhibitors took part in the fair, 552 of which were foreign coming from 35 nations ‚Äď is about to be beaten.