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China Enter the Dragon
When the world’s industrial centre of gravity shifted eastward many years ago, China rapidly emerged as the largest exporter of goods globally.
By: Diamond World News Service
May 4 2011 3:54PM
Reference: 5971  

According to him, provisional data showed the U.S. bought about 38 per cent of diamond jewellery last year, with India making up about 10 per cent and China and Hong Kong combined about 11 per cent. Since Asian economies are growing faster than those in the U.S. and Europe, where consumers and governments are trying to cut indebtedness, Cleaver added that De Beers expects that “by 2015, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India and the Gulf will account for around nearly 40 per cent of global demand.”

In 1999 China accounted for a mere 2 per cent of the global market in diamond jewellery; by 2009this had risen to around 6 per cent and the country’s share is expected to touch 11 per cent by 2016.

China was in fact one of the first countries in which De Beers launched its Forevermark programme two years ago, and there has been rapid expansion in this market during that time. .

De Beers is not the only diamond miner looking eastwards. Bruce Cox, MD, Rio Tinto Diamonds, said that the company “is very confident in growth prospects of diamond jewellery in India and China”, and plans to “channel a larger proportion of our production from mature markets towards these faster growing emerging markets”.

Luxury Market: Rapid Expansion

Of course the growth and exciting prospects in the diamond jewellery market is a part of the larger picture – the economic boom and consequent rising affluence of Chinese consumers.

Speaking at the Shanghai Diamond Conference in December 2010, Vishal Mehta of Dimexon had noted that the luxury segment in China had witnessed “extraordinary growth” registering a 30 per cent increase in sales even during crisis-ridden 2009. The luxury segment was now estimated to be US$ 9.4 billion, making China the 2nd largest luxury market in the world, even ahead of the USA. He pointed out that well known brands like Cartier and Zegna were now reporting that China was their largest market in the world, while Tiffany’s had registered its highest growth rates in the world in the Chinese market. Even an auto brand like Bentley had its third highest sales from the Chinese market and for the first time had introduced two new variations of its existing models designed specifically for the Chinese consumer.

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