Istanbul Fair ready to join global select circuit

Offbeat Istanbul (Turkey) may not have hit the main gems and jewellery trade fairs global circuit so far, but the way it has been shaping all these years, it seems to be the next strong claimant...
Istanbul Fair ready to join global select circuit

Yes, it may soon join the traditional select chain of top precious expos comprising BaselWorld, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Vicenza, China, Tokyo, London and US shows. Esra Ceto, our correspondent in Turkey has filed this close up view of the latest Istanbul Fair 2005 To showcase its progress.

The Istanbul Jewelery Fair-2005 was the 20th International Jewellery, Silver, Watch & Equipment Fair organized from March 24 to 27, 2005 in CNR Expo Centre in Istanbul , Turkey by Rotaforte International Trade Fairs, supported by TAJ-Turkish Association of Jewellers. The products which were exhibited fascinatingly at the Show were - gold jewellery, diamond jewellery, all kinds of gemstones and pearls, silver jewellery, watches and clocks and households goods, mountings, machinery, tools & equipments, display units, security devices, softwares, etc. The manufacturers, exporters, designers, suppliers and dealers formed the exhibitor profile. In addition, the wholesalers, storehouses, retailers, department stores, chain-stores, importers, catalog & mail order companies attended the Show as visitors. Total 864 companies (285 foreign companies from 27 countries) exhibited in the Show. Approximately, more than 42,000 buyers of which 7,000 were international operators visited Istanbul during 4 trade days. The key people who visited Istanbul Trade Show included; Jim Borton, CEO of World Gold Council; Dr.Gaetano Cavalieri, President of CIBJO, Tawfiq Abdullah, President of DAMAS, Prof. Elfreide Schwarzer, President of Austrian Federation Economical Chamber and Lindsay Straughton Vice-Chairman of British Jewellers Association. Besides these VIPs, PM and Ministers, key Governmental Officials were invited to the opening ceremony of the Fair. Besides, a gala was organized on 25th March at Myshowland to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Istanbul Jewellery Show.

Istanbul 2005 Fair was an international commercial platform where different products, concepts, designs and opinions came together. The producers, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters and designers found an opportunity to watch innovations and developments of the sectors. Important sector representatives from various countries such as Russia, Turkish Republics, Middle-East, North Africa and all the Mediterranean countries took part in the Fair. The professional visitors attended the Fair from so many countries including Russia, Israel, Middle-East, Bulgaria and Romania. Gold, diamonds, brilliant, valuable gemstones, watches and their movements were exhibited in the Fair. Every convenience was provided for visitors and exhibitors by the organizers at the Show to make them comfortable. There were 5 halls, hall 4 was for diamonds and gems, hall 5 for gold, silver and watches, hall 6&7 were for gold and hall 8 was for silver and machinery.

I interviewed some of the gold, diamond and silver firms especially I tried to understand their marketing and producting strategies. Most of them were Turkish firms. The Turkish firms which I talked to are GOLDAÞ, Altýnbaþ, EKOL, FAVORÝ, TOPALL and others. I noticed that the jewellery industry is one of the sectors which contribute to Turkey's economy. Generally these firms use local minerals and sources for their products because Turkey is a country with rich domestic sources and minerals so the jewellery and gems firms usually prefer to use home products. They try to produce quality products. To use local products is cheaper than the others. Also they added that Turkish sources are very selected and valuable. They are cheap because they do not involve import expenses. Otherwise they are flexible about foreign sources if these are really suitable in prices. Some of them use Swiss sources, the others obtain minerals from Middle-East countries and some of them use home products as I said before. They always investigate the foreign markets to sell and introduce their products or to find suitable sources. Besides, most of them have export-import links with foreign countries and exhibit their products in foreign markets. They look for useful materials and customers for their products in the foreign lands. Turkey required much gold but gold prices increased in the world and supply fell.

Besides, I would like to say something about IKO (Istanbul Jewellers Room) that was established for producers and traders who were active in Istanbul jewellery sector in 1971. It has about 10,000 members and has a big role to introduce and develop Turkish jewellery in the national and international markets. IKO's most important activity is Gold News magazine which enjoys international identity. This magazine is Turkey's unique international publication. As the representative of an industry which aims to become the leader in the export of golden jewellery in the world,IKO guides the industry on issues such as marketing strategies, brand creation, design improvement for competitions etc. Also, IKO develops projects for the funds allocated to Turkey in the EU negotiations process,carries out activities to train skilled personnel for the industry and improve the quality and quantity of employment.

Now let's look at Turkish famous jewels and their cities in Turkey: Antakya ('Depelik' is ornamental jewellery, 'Bogma' is jewellery for the neck); Bursa (Jewellery for brides), Diyarbakýr('Hasir bilezik' is jewellery for the wrist), Kahramanmaraþ (Maras helix and Habbe Necklaces are traditional jewellery models. Mardin (silver), Trabzon ('Trabzon mattress'), Adana ('Adana burma')...

Especially Swiss firms aroused interest at the Show. They attended the fair with their interesting, choice jewellery. In addition, the visitors were interested in Indian goods exhibited because usually the Turkish people like Indian gold jewellery like all the world. The Japanese firms also attracted attention.

It was a big Fair that is held twice a year. Its second big edition is scheduled in September 2005. I hope I'll be there again. These fairs and shows like this will boost the jewellery industry because of coming together of jewellery companies. That will help the world precious trade.

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