29 Oct 2020
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The View from Hong Kong-Hong Kong Market
It has been a tough road for Hong Kong, with USChina Trade War, pro-democracy protests and finally, coronavirus. But thanks to the indefatigable spirit of Hong Kongers, the city has managed to beat the virus. In the same spirit, with the support of the Government that believes in the business capability of its small and medium scale entrepreneurs, the jewellery industry will come out of this crisis says Vijetha Rangabashyam
By: Diamond World News Service
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Jul 22 2020 11:57AM
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Reference: 25048  

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We’ve been getting orders from the U.S. mainly from TV shopping network companies and some online companies. For most retailers around the world, things are looking bad and Hong Kong is no different. When we ask for payments they want to return the goods. But we are cooperating with them. We are being patient and extending the credit by six months Gaurav Nigam, Oriental GemcoThe slick city has been back in action for over couple of months now. Hong Kong is one of the densest cities in the world with high rises literally stuck to each other. The transportation is almost always packed to the brim. Some of the best restaurants in Hong Kong barely have space for people to move around. Be that as it may, this financial hub whose efficiency and skill many countries world over are dependent on, managed to beat the virus and its resurgence as well, thanks to its citizens. Perhaps it was the experience from SARS and many other epidemics before that, the people of Hong Kong are definitely equipped to handle a pandemic of this scale better than most countries – they are organized and have a sense of self-discipline, so much so that even when the Government banned masks, Hong Kongers went onto wear masks, distributing them and encouraging fellow citizens to wear them.

Life is back to normal today, with restaurants, bars and stores having opened up late June. However, people are erring on the side of caution with social distancing norms in place. It has been a cruel year for Hong Kong – a bustling city with thriving economic activities has been subject to one blow after the other. The pro-domestic protests that engulfed the city in 2019 are still ongoing and the threat of the virus brought the city to a standstill for nearly 3 months. The imposition of National Security Law might spark more confusion and trouble for the business community in Hong Kong. One of the biggest revenues for the city is tourism, which has been badly hit since March and with the government imposing restrictions on foreigners flying into the country, it looks like tourism will remain affected for the foreseeable future.

An export driven market
Hong Kong depends on the exports mainly, especially China, U.S. and the Middle East. The Middle East has been in a complete lock down and business from the region is nil. “We’ve been getting orders from the U.S. mainly from TV shopping network companies and some online companies. China has also completely opened up, so we are getting steady demand from there as well,” says Gaurav Nigam of Oriental Gemco. The survival mode for the jewellery industry in Hong Kong right now is entirely through opportunities they are getting from China as well as the U.S. Until April, businesses in Hong Kong were badly hit because of logistical issues and exports were definitely down and India being shut completely obviously didn’t help. Markets started opening up in May and in June, the market started slowly picking up. Of course, the market isn’t booming but it is not all that bad because all major hubs of jewellery and diamonds like Antwerp, New York and some parts of Asia are all open and Europe will fully open up mid July. “We went into lockdown end of January and before that we were shut because of Chinese New Year. We also had the protests, so Hong Kong has been through a lot. China is doing extremely well. We don’t have a presence there but our clients from the U.S. and Europe who have stores in China tell us that on some days they have had record breaking sales. This sentiment has not trickled into Hong Kong as yet. We are hearing that the borders will open up in July, may be things will start looking up then,” says Harsh Maheshwari of Kunming Diamonds. The jewellery market in Hong Kong is at least 70 per cent down.

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