Twenty-first Century "maritime Silk Road" and the international communication platform

CAEXPO Helps the Jewelry Industry Make a Name

2022-03-31 11:40:00   By:China-ASEAN    Hits:

Written by Tang Yi / Translated by Xie Zongming

As people’s living standard raises, jewelry has become a part of people’s consumption. With the complementary industrial chain in jewelry, China and ASEAN countries have established close economic and trade relations in terms of technology exchange and raw material supply, which keeps promoting the development of the industry for both sides.

As a crucial platform for economic and trade cooperation between China and ASEAN countries, the China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) is utilizing its function to promote the coordination of this industry by helping the two sides reach consensus and keeping with the trend of development in the jewelry industry, offering more opportunities for China’s and ASEAN countries’ jewelry industry to exchange and cooperate.

Leveraging advantages and facilitating cooperation

The different advantages of China and ASEAN in the jewelry industry make the two sides complementary for cooperation.

In terms of technology, China has several major signs of progress in polish, carving, inlay, and stringing. Though the creativity, design, and brand visibility of Chinese jewelry are still behind western jewelry, the industry in China has technological breakthroughs and a rather complete processing chain, for which it can satisfy most of the deep processing demand of ASEAN countries for end products.

In terms of resource and supply, some ASEAN countries are renowned natural suppliers of rough gemstones. In 2019, China’s total imports of gemstones were 730 tons. ASEAN countries like Myanmar, Thailand, and the Philippines were the major exporters. 

Myanmar, for example, was known as the country of gems in history. 90% of the world’s jade stones are produced in Myanmar and Myanmar produces the current-best rubies. However, Myanmar lacks developed jewel processing technology, for which technology and equipment from China prove complementary to this disadvantage.

Hand chains made of Myanmar jade are one of the popular jade ornaments

CAEXPO, as a platform, builds the bridge of communication for jewelry companies so that the complementors can fully leverage their advantages and reach cooperation.

In January 2010, the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) officially opened, marking a new age of China-ASEAN cooperation. For it is the world’s third-largest FTA, China-ASEAN business and trade cooperation entered a tariff-free age.

China and ASEAN witnessed more cooperation opportunities after the  establishment of the FTA. The jewelry industry also continued to widen the cooperation through taking advantages of favorable policies from both sides and CAEXPO’s platform advantages.

Special exhibitions, such as the Trade in Services Themed Exhibition and the Jewelry Exhibition, were added to the 7th CAEXPO. The Jewelry Exhibition attracted many participating enterprises from different gem stones production areas at home and abroad. The exhibits include Burmese jade, freshwater pearl from Zhejiang, China, and the Hetian Jade from Xinjiang. The exhibition has brought new cooperation opportunities to the industry in both China and the ASEAN countries.

At the 15th CAEXPO held in 2018, the Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneur Association (MGJEA) and the Guangdong Institute of Diamond, Jade & Jewelry signed the Agreement on the Strategic Partnership of Jewelry Industry, ushering in huge potential opportunities for the two sides in the industry.

In 2020 when the FTA was at its 10th anniversary, the 17th CAEXPO set up the ASEAN Jewelry Section for the first time. The CAEXPO provided the most convenient platform for trade cooperation for the ASEAN jewelry companies to directly enter the huge Chinese market with 1.4 billion consumers and increase their brand visibility, facilitating the complementary win-win cooperation process for the two sides.

Keeping the industry glittering

Through setting up a new exhibition section and carrying out production promotion, the CAEXPO keeps enhancing the in-depth communication and cooperation between the jewelry industry of China and ASEAN.

During the 9th CAEXPO, Myanmar took the opportunity of being the Country of Honor to hold the Jewelry and Jade Special Promotion for the first time, making it a highlight of that expo.

Booths featuring jade in the CAEXPO

Jewelry & Jade professionals, such as the representatives from the Ministry of Mines and the MGJEA were invited to the promotion to introduce the market environment and the knowledge of the Burmese jewelry & jade to Chinese jewelry companies and consumers, which facilitated the exchange and cooperation between the industry of both sides.

Meanwhile, the forums and contests derived from the CAEXPO which are dedicated to developing the industry, also contribute to creating a sustainable business environment by facilitating talents training and jewelry processing cooperation.

The 2018 China-ASEAN Mining Jewelry Jade/Handmade Art Creative Design and Production Competition and the 9th China-ASEAN Mining Cooperation Forum were held at the same time in 2018. Participants took the opportunity to discover the creative artworks with fashionable designs, to call for the spirit of originality and to search for talents in jewelry design.

Focusing on the further win-win cooperation between Chinese and ASEAN industries and providing more ways to present the opportunities are not only CAEXPO’s mission but also its characteristic.

As the permanent venue of the CAEXPO, Guangxi utilizes its advantaged location to become a precious metal and jewelry distributing center that connects to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. As a convenient entrance to ASEAN countries, Guangxi serves as an unimpeded gateway for the jewelry trade.

In October 2007, Wuzhou City, Guangxi, won the name of China Feature Production Base for Gems, Jade & Jewelry. Meanwhile, Wuzhou’s Gems City was listed as the first batch of market procurement trade pilot area in Guangxi, with which the market allows the traders to finish on-site customs clearance.

In 2020, the Guangxi Gold & Jewelry Industrial Park in Hezhou first showed up in the 17th CAEXPO and attracted many traders and visitors, showing the strong vitality of a sustainably developing jewelry industry under China’s Domestic-International Dual Circulation Strategy.

By facilitating its function as a platform and utilizing Guangxi’s location advantages, the CAEXPO brings momentum to cooperation in the jewelry industry and the related cultural innovation and exchange.

Looking into a brighter future

The CAEXPO, as an event that keeps with the development of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, is dedicated to providing a convenient platform for Chinese and ASEAN enterprises to explore the huge market in the FTA and promoting bilateral industrial cooperation and development.

Consumers picked Myanmar jade ornaments in the CAEXPO

To further improve the exhibition quality and facilitate efficient cooperation, the CAEXPO enforced stricter standards upon the participants and their products. The 16th CAEXPO introduced the product certification and traceability system. The jewelry and jade exhibitors from Myanmar must be certificated members of MGJEA, which improved the standard for exhibitors to participate in the expo.

In the past two years, the jewelry industry has been gravely influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The market size of the industry shrunk from RMB 707.3 billion yuan in 2019 to RMB 615.4 billion yuan in 2020, signifying a 13% annual decrease, the biggest drop in recent years.

However, entering the post-pandemic era, the world sees significant breakthroughs and development in the digital economy. The notion and habit of consumption have gone through redefinition during the pandemic, which could be the opportunity for the jewelry industry to grow again.

In 2021, the 18th CAEXPO adopted the “Offline + Online Exhibition” model. The Online Exhibition aims to create an all-year-round regular exhibition. With the help of the platform, jewelry companies had more chances to display their products, and thus lessened the impact of the pandemic, gaining better market performance.

One thing worth mentioning is that as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership entered into force on January 1, 2022, China-ASEAN cooperation is expecting new opportunities. The RCEP member states, such as Japan and Australia, will bring their advantages in creativity, design, and professionals to the industry, which might be an impetus for promoting further cooperation and development of the industry in the region.

Under the new situation where RCEP’s entry into force boost the development of free trade, it is convincing that the CAEXPO will continue to contribute its efforts in facilitating China-ASEAN jewelry industry cooperation and will further convert the expo’s result into economic and social benefit, showing the mutually-beneficial cooperation at its maximum.

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