Lin Qiang, Biju Patnaik, Hidetaka Kato and Vichai Assarasakorn Join the 8-member JNA Awards Judging Panel

Call for entries deadline extended to 21 May

HONG KONG, May 9, 2012 --  Jewellery News Asia, organiser of the prestigious JNA Awards, announced today the final judging panel which now comprises Mr. Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange; Mr. Biju Patnaik, Regional Head, Asia, International Diamond & Jewellery Group, ABN AMRO Group; Mr. Hidetaka Kato, Honorary Dean of the Tokyo Diamond Exchange; and Mr. Vichai Assarasakorn, Secretary General of The Thai Chamber of Commerce & Board of Trade of Thailand.

The deadline for the submission of entries for the JNA Awards has also been extended to 21 May.

 
(From left to right) Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange; Biju Patnaik, Regional Head, Asia, International Diamond & Jewellery Group,  ABN AMRO Group; Hidetaka Kato, Honorary Dean of the Tokyo Diamond Exchange; and Vichai Assarasakorn, Secretary General of The Thai Chamber of Commerce & Board of Trade of Thailand.

With the appointment of Lin, Patnaik, Kato and Vichai, the JNA Awards’ judging panel is now comprised of eight of the most recognised names in the global gemstone and jewellery industry.

Letitia Chow, Founder of Jewellery News Asia and Director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia, and the Chair of the judging panel said: “We are delighted that the judging panel for our inaugural event includes such illustrious names from the global gem and jewellery industry. The judges do not only represent key markets but also strategic areas of expertise.”

Chow continues: “To receive support from such recognised names is an encouraging sign of the guaranteed success of our inaugural event. The high number of entries, urging us to extend the entries’ deadline to 21 May, is also a good indication of the excellent feedback received from the industry.”

The final judging panel consists of eight judges:

  • Vichai Assarasakorn, Secretary General of The Thai Chamber of Commerce & Board of Trade of Thailand
  • Albert Cheng, Managing Director, World Gold Council – Far East
  • James Courage, Chief Executive Officer, Platinum Guild International UK Ltd
  • Hidetaka Kato, Honorary Dean of the Tokyo Diamond Exchange
  • Biju Patnaik, Regional Head, Asia, International Diamond & Jewellery Group, ABN AMRO Group
  • Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director, Shanghai Diamond Exchange
  • Matthew Runci, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jewelers of America
  • Wilson Yuen, President, International Colored Gemstone Association

Lin was a pioneer in the establishment of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange and has been the bourse’s President and Managing Director since 2000. He has devoted his career to the management of Shanghai Diamond Exchange, the only official diamond trading platform in Mainland China and the implementations of effective governmental policies for the country’s diamond industry.

Lin said: “To be invited to join the esteemed panel of judges of the first JNA Awards is a great mark of recognition. I will use my expertise and experience in the industry to give the most impartial judgment to ensure that the very best performing organisations or individuals are recognised.”

Patnaik is currently the Regional Head, Asia, International Diamond & Jewellery Group, ABN AMRO Group and is also the designated Country Executive of ABN AMRO Bank in India. He started his career with the State Bank Group in 1984 and since then has worked in various capacities including corporate and investment banking as well as management of bank branches in India. He has worked as Regional Manager, Asia for ID&JG for both ABN AMRO Group & RBS.

 “I am thrilled to be a part of the judging panel of the inaugural JNA Awards.  It is such an important, meaningful and exciting project for the entire gem and jewellery industry and I am convinced of its success,” Patnaik mentioned.

Kato is one of Japan’s most recognised jewellery industry experts with a career spanning nearly six decades. He is the Honorary Dean of the Tokyo Diamond Exchange, past President of Japan Jewellery Association and past President of All Japan Jewellery Wholesalers Association. He started his career in 1954 at Mitsuwa Co Ltd, a leading gem and jewellery organisation and he then worked in New York at the Japan External Trade Organisation. In 1960, he entered Kashikei Shoten and was appointed President of Kashikey Co Ltd when the company was created in 1970. He took office as Chairman of Kashikey Co Ltd in 1986 and retired in 2011.

“I am delighted to have been invited to participate in the JNA Awards and chosen to be part of the prestigious panel of judges. I am looking forward to meet so many key players of the global jewellery industry at this significant event, and I am confident of its success in the long run,” Kato said.

Vichai has been active in the jewellery trade since the 1980s and serves on several leading trade authorities.  He is currently the Secretary General of The Thai Chamber of Commerce & Board of Trade of Thailand, President Advisor of The Thai Chamber of Commerce - Committee on Gems and Jewelry, and Vice-President of World Trading Company Limited and Group of Companies.  He is a pioneer in promoting Thailand’s jewellery trade, holding various leadership positions including President of The Thai Chamber of Commerce - Committee on Gems and Jewelry from 2003-2011, and President of the Thai Gems and Jewelry Traders Association from 2007-2011.

"I am honoured to be invited on the judging panel of such a prestigious event as the JNA Awards which is initiated by Jewellery News Asia, a leading publication in the jewellery industry.  This event endorses excellence in the Asian jewellery trade, recognises achievement and motivates trend setters and industry leaders around the globe," declared Vichai.

Industry leaders Rio Tinto, Chow Tai Fook, Robert Wan Tahiti, Israel Diamond Institute and the Shanghai Diamond Exchange are leading the event as JNA Awards 2012 (www.jnaawards.com) partners.

The JNA Awards is an industry-wide event that honours and recognises excellence and achievement in the Asian jewellery trade. The Awards ceremony and gala dinner will be held on September 20, 2012, during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. The event, the first of its kind in Asia, is organised by Jewellery News Asia (www.jewellerynewsasia.com) of UBM Asia in collaboration with UBM Awards.

The awards are open for entries until May 21. Interested parties may obtain details on the categories, rules of entry, judging criteria and judging process by logging on to www.jnaawards.com.

Jewellery News Asia, first published in 1983, is the flagship magazine of UBM Asia's (www.ubmasia.com) Jewellery Group. The publication is a leader in providing the latest industry updates and in-depth reports, covering the international jewellery trade with an Asia insight. Following its success, the publication launched its online edition, www.jewellerynewsasia.com in June 2011.

 

Note for Editors:

 

1. About UBM Asia (www.ubmasia.com)
Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia operates in 18 market sectors with headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia, including UBM China in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Beijing. We have over 200 products including trade fairs, conferences, trade publications, B2B/B2C portals and virtual event services. As Asia's leading exhibition organiser and the biggest commercial organiser in the two fastest-growing markets in Asia – China and India – we stage the leading events of their kind across Asia. Our 150 events, 24 publications and 16 vertical portals serve a million-plus quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world with high value face-to-face business-matching events, quality and instant news on market and industry trends and round-the-clock online trading networks and sourcing platforms. We have 1,000 staff in 21 major cities across Asia, stretching from Japan to Turkey.

 

2. About UBM plc (www.ubm.com)
UBM plc is a leading global company. We inform markets and bring the world's buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print and provide them with the information they need to do business successfully. We focus on serving professional commercial communities, from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewellery traders, and from farmers to pharmacists around the world. Our 6,600 staff in more than 31 countries are organised into specialist teams that serve these communities, helping them to do business effectively and efficiently.

3. About UBM Awards
UBM Awards is UBM plc's awards organiser and producer. Based in London, UBM Awards specialises in end-to-end delivery of cross-sector awards programmes and bespoke events worldwide. UBM Awards organises more than 30 awards and bespoke events annually including the National Business Awards, the Asian Awards and the National Sales Awards.

 

Please contact:

Jewellery News Asia
UBM Asia (Hong Kong)
+852-2516-1683
[email protected]

 

Paul Pimlett, Events Director
UBM Awards (UK)
+44 (0) 20-7921-8090
[email protected]com