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It's SINGAPORE for Jewellery & Gem World 2022
Informa announces Singapore as the temporary destination for JGW 2022

In an exclusive with the New Jeweller Bureau, David Bondi, Senior Vice President of Informa Markets in Asia and Celine Lau, Director of Jewellery Fairs at Informa Markets Jewellery, speak about the success of the first JGT show held in Dubai this February and opine on the Jewellery & Gem WORLD [JGW], to be organised in Singapore later this year. Excerpts:

Informa has announced that Jewellery & Gem WORLD, the famed September Hong Kong show, is temporarily relocating to Singapore where it will be staged from 27 to 30 September. What is the strategy behind this and why Singapore?

David Bondi: If two years of virtual meetings have proven anything, it’s that business remains face to face and in person. Exhibitors and professional buyers miss the energy and vitality of live events, and this was evident at the inaugural edition of Jewellery, Gem & Technology Dubai (JGT), which received a ringing endorsement from our community in February. JGT Dubai was the industry’s first international B2B show held in a physical format this year. As the world's biggest and most influential jewellery fair, Jewellery & Gem WORLD (JGW) has and will always be the meeting point for the global jewellery industry. After a two-year pandemic-induced pause, JGW is more than ready to return to full in-person B2B mode this September – complemented by our special-edition physical event in Hong Kong (JGW Hong Kong – Special Edition, 16 – 19 September 2022, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre). To make JGW’s global return possible, however, we have to temporarily relocate from our Hong Kong home base to an alternative venue, which has rationalised its border restrictions, resumed large-scale business events and successfully implemented safe-management measures. Singapore fulfils all these requirements and more.

The Lion City has just announced that starting from 1 April, all fully vaccinated visitors from any country or region will be allowed to enter Singapore quarantine-free, with no ‘onarrival test’ and ‘stay-home notice’ required. Most of Singapore’s COVID restrictions will also be lifted including outdoor mask mandates and limits on social gatherings, among others. Just like Hong Kong, Singapore serves as a major gateway to Asia and the world, offering market access to 4 billion people within a 7-hour flight radius. Although flights to certain destinations may be temporarily unavailable as we speak, the city is still easily accessible from anywhere around the world, making it the ideal alternative venue for JGW.

With its modern meeting facilities, convenient and well-connected transport network, and pro - business environment, Singapore has the capacity to securely and efficiently host the world’s most iconic jewellery show. In terms of health and safety, Singapore has an industry-led accreditation programme, which ensures that hygiene benchmarks and safe-distancing best practices are upheld at large-scale events.

Now, should we expect a JGW that is an exact copy of the September Hong Kong Fair that we all know and love? The show will definitely look different and feel different. It will, however, have the same sense of community and purpose that defines JGW. Everyone who is passionate about our industry will be there - manufacturers, designers, brands, retailers, wholesalers and innovators who will celebrate everything that is wonderful and enduring about jewellery – for four intense days of trading and networking. The move to Singapore is a one-off arrangement, and we expect to be back in Hong Kong in 2023 when conditions allow for safe and responsible in-person interactions, and international travel restrictions are lifted. But this year, I’m encouraging everyone to join me and our team in Singapore where we can build new relationships and energise our industry together.

What about Singapore’s Goods & Services Tax (GST)? How easy would it be for international visitors to avail themselves of GST refunds?

Celine Lau: Singapore is generally a free port and applies zero-duty to more than 99 percent of its imports, including jewellery. Having said that, all goods brought into Singapore are subject to 7% Goods & Services Tax (GST). However, goods imported on a temporary basis for the purpose of exhibitions, repairs or other approved purposes, may be granted GST relief under the Temporary Import Scheme (TIS). This is welcome news for our international exhibitors and visitors.

The relevant Singapore authorities have assured us that they will extend all the necessary assistance needed to ensure that our show participants will have a smooth and seamless GST refund experience at the airport.

Will a special-edition Jewellery & Gem WORLD Hong Kong still be held this September? If yes, tell us more about it.

Celine Lau: Yes, prior to our Singapore event, we are staging JGW Hong Kong – Special Edition from 16 to 19 September at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). This sourcing event is returning to the city following its successful launch last year, alongside its sister-fair, Jewellery & Gem ASIA Hong Kong – Special Edition in June. Although buyers were predominantly local in origin due to international travel restrictions, the 2021 special-edition fair topped our expectations in terms of onsite order-writing and visitor engagement. This only proves that when people, ideas and the latest innovative products and services come together in one central meeting point, exciting things could happen.

This year, the fair will be open to both trade buyers and jewellery lovers who wish to capture the best possible exclusive show deals for the end-of-the-year selling season and beyond. It is expected to draw China-based visitors once cross-border travel restrictions are lifted. Just like last year, the show will be packed with product presentations and engaging onsite activities. Our industry experts will also be streaming live from the show floor, expanding our exhibitors’ international reach and taking the business conversation beyond the physical space.

Informa Markets Jewellery and Italian Exhibition Group teamed up together to organise a successful B2B exhibition in Dubai this year, JGT Dubai. How did an alliance between these competing companies happen? How long will the partnership last?

David Bondi: I have mentioned before that JGT Dubai represents, in a way, how fast our industry has transformed in the new world, and how open we are to exploring new opportunities and possibilities. Our collaboration with the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) is unprecedented in the events industry, and I am certain that it won’t be the last. Our partnership with IEG works because we are committed to the same goal – to deliver real value to the jewellery community. We have created synergy by bringing the full weight of our resources, industry expertise, global reach and local knowledge to JGT Dubai. Now, this is a clear case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

Our partnership with IEG is a game-changer, and we are confident that together, we will stage an even more powerful Dubai show next year. The second edition is scheduled for 12 to 14 February 2023 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

What are the key factors that led to the success of JGT Dubai and what are your learnings from this year’s show?

David Bondi: JGT Dubai is on its way to becoming one of the world’s premier B2B events, and we couldn’t have done this without our strong partnerships, and solid government and industry support.

We would like to express our deepest appreciation to DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre) and the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group – JGT Dubai’s official and industry partners, respectively – and the Government of Dubai for helping us bring JGT Dubai to life. We would also like to thank DWTC, all the industry associations, our exhibitors and visitors, and the media for joining us on the first phase of our JGT Dubai journey.

Informa and IEG have announced the 2023 JGT Dubai show dates. What would be the format of the 2nd edition? Would you be including Gold and Diamond jewellery pavilions? How about a day dedicated for consumers?

Celine Lau: We are extremely pleased with the trade’s positive response to JGT Dubai’s inaugural edition. We believe this has laid a strong foundation for the event’s future growth. For our second edition, we are exploring opportunities to further enhance the diversity of our product and exhibitor mix. We made the fair easy to navigate by concentrating on three main categories, namely Jewellery Materials, Finished Jewellery and Technology. Expect us to further fine-tune our product segmentation based on the evolving needs of our core audience – the B2B buyer.

With so much happening in the Gem and Jewellery sector with regards to B2B exhibitions and shows, where do you see Informa Markets Jewellery in the near future in terms of market expansion and global reach?

David Bondi: We have found a way to evolve and thrive because it is integral to our industry’s future. Our mission is to put buyers and sellers together in the most efficient and compelling way possible. This year, we have a full schedule comprising 15 physical events in 12 cities and five theme-based digital experiences that reflects our industry’s need to connect safely and confidently, and make up for as many lost in-person engagements as possible.

We are in three new cities this year – Dubai, Singapore and Bangkok (Jewellery & Gem ASEAN Bangkok or JGAB, 2 – 5 November 2022, Queen Sirikit National Convention Center), and without a doubt, there are real opportunities to expand further – either by bringing our signature Jewellery & Gem Fairs to markets where the industry needs us or by enhancing the sourcing experience through JewelleryNet, our online jewellery community, and other digital resources. I would like to add that our new show in Bangkok this November – JGAB – is uniquely positioned within our events portfolio. It is a B2B cash-and-carry sourcing opportunity for buyers – more specifically, Southeast Asia-based manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers – who need to restock inventories quickly and efficiently for the Christmas and New Year selling season. At the end of the day, it is the buyers who will decide where the shows will go and how they want to experience the sourcing journey. By identifying their core needs, we will be able to leverage our resources to their advantage.