Optimism, Better Business Mark 25th Basel Fair

It was sunny in Switzerland this spring, good for visitors to Basel 97 and an apt symbol for the show itself. “I’ve seen more visitors and exhibitors smiling at this year’s fair than I have in several years,” says Michael Mamie, director of the Basel Fair, which operates the show. This enthusiasm is encouraging because Basel forecasts the timepiece and jewelry industries’ growth in the coming year. Several factors buoyed the mood. One was the strength of the U.S. dollar against most currencies. Another was significantly more visitors from the U.S., Southeast Asia and Latin America. However, the enthusiasm was tempered by weak economies and domestic sales in much of Europe. Some Asian economies are riding out recessions too. More exhibitors showed more new products this year at Basel – where debuts and news about new ventures in the international watch and jewelry indust

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