Antwerp Diamond Companies Flock to Macau

The Macau Jewellery & Watch Fair opened Thursday for the first time ever with a strong show of support from the Belgian diamond industry. No fewer than 33 Antwerp-based diamond companies are exhibiting in the event that has been billed the first trade show to take place in the new year on the Asian continent.
The Macau show runs from Jan. 10-13 at the Cotai Strip Convention and Exhibition Centre at The Venetian Macao. The Antwerp World Diamond Centre Pavilion is located in Hall D, and it houses 33 companies in booths spread over 513 square meters.
“One may be surprised at the very strong Antwerp presence in a show that, after all, is only being held for the first time,” said Philip Claes, the AWDC spokesperson, “but the enthusiasm that was shown by so many people in traveling to Macau is indicative of the high regard that exists in Antwerp for the Asian and, more specifically, the Chinese market. We will have a strong presence at a variety of trade shows this year—in Macau, Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland—and this derives primarily from our understanding that China is a growth market of primary importance.”
Over the first 11 months of 2007, exports of polished diamond from Belgium to mainland China totaled $222.9 million, 67.5 percent more than the amount recorded during the corresponding period a year earlier. Polished diamond exports to Hong Kong, which are recorded separately, stood at $1.53 billion at the end of the 11-month period, 9 percent more than during the same period in 2006. This makes the entire Chinese region Antwerp’s second largest polished diamond export market after the United States.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre is the official representative of the Belgian diamond sector, and in this capacity is charged with managing the relationship between the diamond sector and government, and promoting the interests of the Belgian diamond industry worldwide.