ECONOMY

Asian jewelers gaining in market share

VICENZA, Italy (Reuters) – Emerging market jewelrymakers, such as China, Thailand and Turkey, are improving design flair and manufacturing to enter markets dominated by Italy, the world’s biggest exporter. «The Asian market is definitely getting better – high-quality jewelry may be the only market for us in the future but we are still innovating,» Fabrizio Filippi, CEO of Superoro, a major Italian jewelrymaker, said at the Vicenza jewelry trade and gem fair. Global jewelry fabrication, by far the biggest component of bullion use, rose by 4 percent in 2004, according to figures released last week by consultancy GFMS, with India, Turkey and China accounting for much of the increase. Asian companies displaying at the fair said they could now hold their own against Italian jewelrymakers, who experienced an up-and-down export year in 2004. Feyza Celik, area manager with major Turkey-based jewelry group Goldas, said the company’s market share was growing in Europe, Asia and the United States. «We have our own creative design department. We can definitely compete with the Italians on manufactured gold jewelry, it’s not a problem,» he said.