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HIGH QUALITY ITALIAN JEWELLERY DELIGHTS THE JAPANESE
In Torre del Greco, amongst other places, there is a tradition of crafting the local Campania coral, and in particular of making cameos: beautiful items of jewellery created by cutting through the layers of a gem-stone (usually an onyx), or of a sea-shell. Tuscany produces very fine, high-quality items crafted in gold, while the district of Vicenza, in Veneto, is renowned for its manufacture of gold and silver chains. These are some of the examples of workmanship which the Italian delegation will be taking to Japan for the twenty-first edition of the Tokyo International Jewellery Fair. The exhibition, which takes place from January 27th to 30th 2010, is one of the most important events on the calendar for operators in this sector.
The Italian Trade Commission has selected 27 companies from all over the country: there is a strong presence from Campania, with 13 participants, followed by Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto and Lombardy. The common factor which unites them is the desire for customer loyalty: these are companies that have taken part in this event for many years and which are happy to return because of the demonstrable advantages it brings them.
To understand how important attendance at the Tokyo Jewellery Fair is for those who work in this sector, one only has to look at the figures for the 2009 event. There were 1059 exhibitors from 36 different countries, and 38,000 people came to visit the exhibition, some of them from other Asian nations. The Italian companies have a particular advantage: a traditionally strong relationship with their Japanese customers that has not been affected by the economic crisis, and which can therefore be considered as sufficiently important to attract future investments. The figures show that Italian products account for 12.9% of Japan’s jewellery imports: this makes Italy the country’s third most important supplier, after the USA and France. To enter into specifics: Italian gold chains are the number one choice for Japanese customers, accounting for a market share equivalent to 40.7%. This is despite a noticeable fall in imports during the course of the last year ($813,000 as compared to TESTO2,435 million for the same period in 2008). The Italian sector occupies second place with regard to imports of gold jewellery in general, and third place for silver jewellery, immediately behind the USA and Thailand.
There are indeed all the ingredients in place to attract visitors to the 2010 exhibition, and the Italian companies will be among the most anticipated at this important event. The elegance of design and the extremely careful workmanship give added value to Italian products. This crucial factor will help Italian companies to conquer other markets, extending their sphere of influence beyond Japan into other Asian states, where too little has been invested up till now, particularly in terms of promotion. This is one of the challenges that the Italian gold and jewellery industry must take up when it goes to Tokyo, and it is a challenge that seems well within its grasp.