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JNA Awards reveals 2016 Honourees

HONG KONG, 23 June 2016 – JNA (Jewellery News Asia), organiser of the prestigious JNA Awards, proudly announced today the highly anticipated list of Honourees or finalists across 10 categories at a press conference held on the sidelines of the June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.

 (From left) Zheng Liu of Guangdong Land Holdings; Caroline Yuan of Shanghai Diamond Exchange; Naresh Surana of Diarough Group; Rita Maltez of Rio Tinto Diamonds; Wolfram Diener of UBM Asia; Letitia Chow of UBM Asia; Kent Wong of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group; Jime Essink of UBM Asia; Mariaveronica Favoroso of Gemfields; Noa Pardo of Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies; and Jim Li of Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange

The JNA Awards, now in its fifth year, is a premier awards programme that recognises and celebrates excellence and achievement in the jewellery and gemstone industry, with a focus on the advancement of the trade in Asia.
This year, 39 Honourees representing 28 companies from 10 countries and regions, namely China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, were selected. A third of these finalists were either first-time entrants or Honourees.
Wolfram Diener, Senior Vice President of UBM Asia, said, “This year marks the fifth anniversary of the JNA Awards, and we are extremely proud of what the event has achieved thus far in terms of creating awareness and promoting excellence in innovation, leadership and sustainable business models in the jewellery and gemstone industry.”
Letitia Chow, Founder of JNA, Director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia, and Chair of the JNA Awards judging panel, remarked, “I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to members of the judging panel who once again, dedicated their time and effort to come up with an outstanding list of shortlisted companies.”

“The Awards’ fifth edition saw the submission of more than 100 quality entries, and has reached more regions and companies than before,” Chow said.

“We have the strongest applications to date,” she continued. “It is encouraging and exciting to see new companies entering the Awards and being recognised for their achievements and advances in the jewellery and gemstone industry.”
The independent judging panel consists of five esteemed industry experts, namely Albert Cheng, Advisor to the World Gold Council, Far East (WGC); James Courage, former Chief Executive of Platinum Guild International (PGI) and former Chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC); Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE); Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in India and the Middle East; and Yasukazu Suwa, Chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc of Japan.

WGC’s Cheng said, “I am pleased to see much more quality entries from different parts of Asia, particularly from China. I had the opportunity to visit some of these companies and was pleasantly surprised by some of their achievements, despite the challenges they faced in recent months. I witnessed some impressive changes in product development and technology improvements. The JNA Awards is a fantastic platform to showcase their accomplishments.”

“In the years of judging for the JNA Awards, it has been very positive to see the range of companies and countries increase significantly. There was strong representation from both large and smaller businesses this year, and a continuing emphasis on technical development, environmental responsibility and a focus on employee development and engagement. During a year that was challenging for many in the industry, there appeared little sign of slowing down in the drive for increased productivity and technical development,” Courage commented. Courage is currently a consultant for the jewellery industry, having recently retired as Chief Executive of PGI and Chairman of RJC.

“Having reviewed all the application materials, I can say with confidence that the quality of the entries this year is exceptionally high. It is inspiring to read about the work they are doing and their stories give a tremendously encouraging view of the future of the jewellery industry,” noted Lin of SDE.

GIA’s Bhatt shared, “Being a judge for the JNA Awards has been a rewarding experience. The range of categories reflects the growth in the region and the enthusiasm of the trade to raise the industry’s benchmark. The organiser has kept the Awards relevant by refining the criteria and amending the categories. After spending close to 30 years in gems and jewellery, it is extremely satisfying to see the JNA Awards motivating organisations, individuals and promising talents alike. I am always, without fail, amazed by the passion and drive each entrant portrays.”

Suwa of Suwa & Son added, “The eagerness of the entrants to excel in business was clear and I was convinced of the existence of the Asian vitality while reading their stories. One factor I had to consider was the size of the companies, which ranged from sales of a few billion dollars to less than a million dollars.  As a judge, it was important to view their merits based on the quality of their policies and operations rather than quantity and size.”

The Honourees or shortlisted companies and individuals in the 10 award categories are:

Brand of the Year – Retail

Beijing Cai Shi Kou Department Store Co Ltd – China
DeGem Masterpiece Sdn Bhd – Malaysia
Hiersun Industrial Co Ltd – China
Pranda Jewelry Pcl – Thailand
Shenzhen Sunfeel Jewelry Co Ltd – China
SK Jewellery Pte Ltd – Singapore

Industry Innovation/Sustainability Initiative of the Year
Beijing Cai Shi Kou Department Store Co Ltd – China
Gübelin Gem Lab Ltd – Switzerland
Shenzhen Batar Investment Holding Group Co Ltd – China
Shenzhen Bofook Jewellery Co Ltd – China
Shenzhen Foreway Jewellery Group Co Ltd – China
Shenzhen Ganlu Jewellery Co Ltd – China
Shenzhen Xingguangda Jewelry Industrial Co Ltd – China
Shenzhen Y&M Jewelry Co Ltd – China

Manufacturer of the Year – Cutting & Polishing
Hari Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd – India
Kiran Gems Pvt Ltd – India
RMC Gems India Ltd – India
Shree Ramkrishna Exports Pvt Ltd – India

Manufacturer of the Year – Jewellery
KGK Jewellery Manufacturing Ltd – Hong Kong
PANDORA Production Co Ltd – Thailand
Shenzhen Batar Investment Holding Group Co Ltd – China

Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – ASEAN
Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Co – Vietnam
Soo Kee Group – Singapore

Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – India
Kapu Gems – India
Shree Ramkrishna Exports Pvt Ltd – India

Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – Greater China
KGK Jewellery Manufacturing Ltd – Hong Kong
KELA – China
Shenzhen Bofook Jewellery Co Ltd – China
Shenzhen Ideal Jewellery Co Ltd – China

Retailer of the Year (450 outlets and below)
Beijing Cai Shi Kou Department Store Co Ltd – China
Chii Lih Coral Co Ltd – Taiwan
Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Co – Vietnam
Shenzhen Ideal Jewellery Co Ltd – China
SK Jewellery Pte Ltd – Singapore

E-tailer of the Year
China Stone Co Ltd – Thailand
Hattons (HK) Ltd – Hong Kong

Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Age 40 and below)
Mr Tsan Kwan Chau,  Shenzhen Batar Investment Holding Group Co Ltd – China
Mr Karim Merchant,  Pure Gold Jewellers LLC – United Arab Emirates
Ms Zhuo Wang,  Shenzhen Sunfeel Jewelry Co Ltd – China 

The Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award will be nominated by the Awards organiser, and the announcement will be made at a later date.

This year’s Recipients, alongside the Honourees, will be feted at the JNA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner, which will be held on Wednesday, 14 September, at the InterContinental Hong Kong during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. 

For more information, visit http://www.JNAawards.com/ or contact:
JNA Awards Marketing
UBM Asia (Hong Kong)
+852 2516-2184
[email protected]

Notes for Editors:

1. About JNA (www.jewellerynewsasia.com)

JNA is the organiser of the JNA Awards and is the flagship publication of UBM Asia’s Jewellery Group. First published in 1983, the title is the leader in providing up-to-date international jewellery trade news with an Asian insight. It features original, in-depth reports by experienced journalists covering the latest developments in the diamond, pearl, coloured gemstone, jewellery manufacturing, and equipment and supplies sectors.

2. About the Headline Partners

2.1 Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited (www.chowtaifook.com)

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited ( Stock Code: 1929 ) is a world-class leading jeweller listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in December 2011, and has become the largest jeweller listed in Hong Kong by market capitalisation.

The iconic brand "Chow Tai Fook" of the Group has been widely recognised for its trustworthiness and authenticity, and renowned for product design, quality and value. The acquisition of Hearts On Fire, an internationally acclaimed U.S. luxury diamond brand, in August 2014 has further underpinned the Group's stature as a diamond expert in the industry.

The Group boasts an extensive retail network comprising over 2,300 Chow Tai Fook and Hearts On Fire stores spanning more than 500 cities in Greater China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States, as well as a strong and fast growing e-tail network through operating its Chow Tai Fook e-Shops and various e-tail accounts on other online shopping platforms.

The Group’s sophisticated vertically integrated business model provides it with an effective and tight control over the entire operation chain from raw material procurement, design, production, to marketing and sales through its extensive POS and e-tail channels.

2.2 Gemfields plc (www.gemfields.co.uk)

Gemfields plc is a leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones and is quoted on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (ticker: GEM) where it is a constituent of the AIM50 index.

Gemfields is the operator and 75% owner of both the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia and the Montepuez ruby deposit in Mozambique. In addition Gemfields also holds a 50% interest in the Kariba amethyst mine in Zambia, as well as controlling interests in various other gemstone mining and prospecting licenses in Zambia, Mozambique, Colombia, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.

Gemfields’ outright ownership of the Fabergé brand - an iconic and prestigious brand of exceptional heritage - enables Gemfields to optimise positioning, perception and consumer awareness of coloured gemstones, advancing the Company’s “mine and market” vision.

Gemfields has developed a proprietary grading system and a pioneering auction and trading platform to provide a consistent supply of quality coloured gemstones to the global downstream markets. This is a key component of the Company’s business model which the Directors believe has played an important role in the appropriate distribution and associated resurgence of the global coloured gemstone sector.

2.3 Rio Tinto Diamonds (www.riotinto.com/diamondsandminerals)

Rio Tinto Diamonds is one of the world’s major producers of rough diamonds and operates a fully integrated diamond exploration, mining and marketing business.

For over three decades, the company has been an important participant in the international diamond market with two world class underground diamond mines in Australia (Argyle) and Canada (Diavik) and an advanced diamond project in India (Bunder).

Rio Tinto Diamonds’ production is sorted and prepared for sale at its sales and marketing office in Antwerp, Belgium, supported by a network of representative offices in Hong Kong, Mumbai and New York. It also operates a niche cutting and polishing factory in Perth, Australia for the rare pink diamonds from its Argyle mine. Rio Tinto Diamonds is a leading supporter of the Kimberley Process, as well as a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council and the Diamond Producers Association.

3. About the Honoured Partners

3.1 Diarough Group (www.diarough.com)

Diarough Group was established in Antwerp in 1975 and owns diamond polishing factories in China, India, Thailand and Botswana, with a network of sales offices around the world. Diarough is known among the most professional and respected names in the international diamond industry.

Diarough believes in building and nurturing long-term business relationships based on mutual trust, finding solutions to business and marketing problems, creating marketable opportunities through innovative products and providing excellent client services.

Its jewellery manufacturing unit Uni-Design has produced many award-winning jewellery pieces, which have been proudly worn by celebrities on the red carpet over the years.

The Group employs over 3,500 people and is engaged in a wide range of diamond business activities like rough trading, cutting, polishing, jewellery manufacturing and marketing to retailers, chain stores, global brands and private labels worldwide. Diarough employs advanced technology and modern work speed with traditional ethical business practices upon which the Company was founded.

3.2 Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (www.israelidiamond.co.il)

The Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI) is a non-profit, public interest company representing all institutions involved in the Israeli Diamond Industry. Israel is one of the world’s leading diamond centres and IDI works to enhance Israel’s position as a major trading and manufacturing hub.

IDI works to benefit Israel’s diamond industry in a variety of areas including: marketing and PR, technological innovation, encouraging local manufacturing, training, and security consulting. IDI seeks out new markets for Israeli diamonds and develops existing ones. As part of this effort, IDI organises industry participation in major trade fairs around the world, establishing Israeli Diamond Pavilions and sponsoring events at these shows.

IDI operates a representative office in Hong Kong, which fosters trade relations with Asian markets.

3.3 Shanghai Diamond Exchange (www.cnsde.com)

Authorised by the State Council, the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) is the only diamond exchange in China and provides diamond dealers a fair and safe transaction venue under close supervision. It also enjoys a favourable taxation policy and is operated in accordance with international best practices of the diamond industry.

Established in 2000, the SDE is a non-profit, self-regulating membership organisation and a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.

3.4 The Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange

Founded in February 2016, the Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange is one of two provincial jewellery trading platforms authorised by the People’s Government of Guangdong Province.

Aggregating resources from key industrial hubs across Guangdong including Guangzhou, Pingzhou of Foshan, Yangmei of Jieyang and Sihui of Zhaoqing, the Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange joins hands with world-renowned jewellery brands in setting up an international supply chain integrated service platform that offers a secure and convenient trading experience for domestic and overseas jewelers.

The Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange is set to benefit China’s jewellery industry in a variety of areas, such as the promotion of a healthier and more balanced international division of labour, foreign trade development, cross-border resource management and consumer market growth. As part of this effort, it will take full advantage of the base and influence of Guangdong’s jewellery industry and the benefits stemming from the Belt and Road Initiative to establish linkages with national and global gemstone and jewellery markets.

3.5 The Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (www.gdland.com.hk)

The Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (GDLAND), with its headquarters in Hong Kong, is listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, and is a subsidiary of GDH Limited, which is Guangdong Province’s largest conglomerate operating outside Mainland China.

The principal business of GDLAND is property development and investment, including but not limited to the development and operational management of the innovative commercial real estate, urban complex and industrial business complex. As the strategic arm of GDH Limited, GDLAND engages in the business development of commercial real estate, as well as the projects of urban and industrial complex.

GDLAND’s flagship project, namely the “Buxin Project”, is planned to become the biggest and most advanced jewellery mart in the world, including a large-scale jewellery trading and exhibition centre along with other facilities, with a lot size of over 87,000 square metres and the construction scale (floor area) is expected to be more than 700,000 square metres. The Buxin Project, which is located in the Buxin area of Luohu district in Central Shenzhen, close to the Shuibei Gold and Jewellery Base, is expected to develop the area into one of the most influential gold and jewellery trading and exchange platforms in China and around the world.

4. About UBM Asia (www.ubmasia.com)

Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia is the largest trade show organiser in Asia and the largest commercial organiser in China, India and Malaysia. Established with its headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia and in the US, UBM Asia has a strong global presence in 24 major cities with 32 offices and 1,300 staff.

With a track record spanning over 30 years, UBM Asia operates in 19 market sectors with 230 events, 28 targeted trade publications, 18 round-the-clock online products for over 2,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world. We provide a one-stop diversified global service for high-value business matching, quality market news and online trading networks.

UBM Asia has extensive office networks in China, Southeast Asia and India, three of the world’s fastest growing B2B events markets. UBM China has 12 offices in the major cities in mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Guzhen and Shenzhen, where we organise 90 events. In ASEAN, UBM Asia operates from its offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines with 70 events in this region. UBM India teams in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai organise over 20 events every year across the country.

UBM Asia was awarded ‘Asia’s Most Reliable Trade Show Organizer Award’ in Hong Kong’s Most Valuable Companies Awards (HKMVCA) 2016.