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Organizer pulls plug on Macau jewelry show

A Hong Kong-based jewelry company has blamed China’s anti-graft campaign for its decision to pull the plug on a trade show in Macau next month, citing the sharp fall in VIP clients as likely to have a negative impact on the event.

Imex Asia Ltd., which organized the ‘European, Asian Watch, Jewellery and Antique Coins Show’ to be held at the Grand Emperor Hotel from May 2-3, said despite inviting 30 Hong Kong vendors to the event, it had to cancel the show and refund the exhibitors, event manager Vincci Tung told the Macau Business Daily.

“For Macau, where this type of jewellery trade show is still not held as frequently as Hong Kong, we still think the place has potential for the event with its tariff-free status,” said Tung, adding that her company has held similar trade shows in Hong Kong before.

A statement published on the trade show’s website said that China’s anti-graft campaign has resulted in the ‘restricted access’ of certain Mainland officials.

“We saw that the [retail] atmosphere in recent terms is really worse than what we expected, and that there is really a dramatic decrease in VIP customers visiting the casinos,” Tung said.

The city’s retail sales of watches and jewellery last year amounted to MOP18 billion-worth (US$2.3 billion), down 11.4 percent year-on-year. It is also the first annual drop seen in the trade of watches and jewellery registered since 2003, data from the Statistics and Census Service reveals.


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