The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) recently concluded its 13th Congress in Panyu, China. The fateful biennial event number proved to be auspicious with record-breaking attendance. Over 200 overseas delegates from 26 countries attended the six-day Congress which focused mainly on exploring new business opportunities in the host country’s vast market, according to an ICA announcement.
In addition to 750 local ICA participants, high level Chinese government officials and industry leaders helped Congress attendees better understand the dynamics of conducting business in their country.
As China’s middle class is 200 million and growing, the country’s domestic market for jewelry is estimated to double in the next few years, becoming the largest market in the world. A whitepaper on the China’s colored stone market, co-sponsored by ICA and China Gold News, was distributed at the end of the conference to all delegates, according the ICA.
The ICA also dedicated much of its recent Congress on a presentation outlining a project for the standardization of colored gemstones in China to improve quality, industrial competitiveness, and consumer awareness in the country.
During the biennial event, the ICA also announced its membership to CASM (Communities and Small-Scale Mining), a World Bank initiative to reduce poverty by improving the environmental, social, and economic performance of artisanal and small-scale mining in developing countries.
The colored stone group also appointed its 2009-2011 Board of Directors. The newly installed Board is headed by President Wilson Yuen of Able Lapidary & Jewelry Ltd from Hong Kong. Yuen has been a member of the ICA Board for four years and chaired the ICA China Task Force prior to his election.
Yuen announced his executive Board during the ICA General Assembly in Panyu, confirming Vice Presidents Jean Claude Michelou of Colombia and Charles Abouchar of Switzerland. Other key appointments include Michael Haag of Germany as Treasurer, with Benjamin Hackman of the US and Clement Sabbagh from Brazil appointed as Secretaries to the group’s Board.
Campbell Bridges, the noted tsavorite miner from Kenya, was elected to the new Board along with Sushil Goyal of the US, Nobuyuki Horiuchi from Japan, and Phuket Khunaprapakorn from Thailand.
For more information, please visit www.gemstone.org.