HONG KONG, 22 June 2017 – The JNA Awards proudly announced its highly anticipated list of Honourees or finalists across 10 categories at a news conference held on the sidelines of the June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.

(From left) Jim Li of Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange; Caroline Yuan of Shanghai Diamond Exchange; Peter Suen of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group; Wolfram Diener of UBM Asia; Letitia Chow of UBM Asia; Rita Maltez of Rio Tinto Diamonds; Abhishek Parekh of KGK Group and Liu Zheng of Guangdong Land Holdings

The event, now in its sixth year, is a premier awards programme that recognises and celebrates excellence and achievement in the jewellery and gemstone industry, with a focus on advancing the trade in Asia.

This year, close to 100 highly qualified entries from 13 countries and regions, namely China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, were received.

The categories that drew the most number of entries were the Industry Innovation of the Year, Brand of the Year – Retail and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Letitia Chow, Chairperson of the JNA Awards and Director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia, remarked, “It is very motivating to see another year with record-breaking entry numbers, with first-time entrants accounting for 22 percent of the applications. Nowadays, companies have to innovate, not only to thrive, but to survive. The impact of innovation is evident in different aspects of production, including marketing, supply chain management, gem and metal technologies, product development and business strategies.”

The 2017 independent judging panel consists of industry experts namely Albert Cheng, Advisor to the World Gold Council, Far East (WGC); James Courage, former Chief Executive of Platinum Guild International and former Chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council; 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; Yasukazu Suwa, Chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc of Japan; and Mark Lee, Research Director of Asia Pacific Institute for Strategy (APIFS).

WGC’s Cheng said, “I am happy to see increased participation this year, especially from Southeast Asia and China. Although this creates more debate for the judging panel, it helps further strengthen the Awards.”

“The quality and geographical breadth of this year’s entrants confirm the relevance of such awards, reflecting the focus of the region’s push on innovative and evolving technical and environmental developments, while increasing the importance on consumer responsibility and creative marketing,” Courage commented.

“The shortlisted entries not only demonstrate solid achievements and effective approaches in problem-solving, they also set examples of good leadership,” noted Lin of SDE.

GIA’s Bhatt shared, “It is encouraging to see the high quality of entries, which makes our responsibility as judges more challenging and exciting. Recognition like this inspires entrants to further grow their talent and accelerate the pace of innovation.”

Lee of APIFS added, “The JNA Awards is an excellent platform to showcase the industry’s development and successes. It’s very impressive to see the participants’ passion, innovation and contribution to the trade.”

The winners will be announced at the JNA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner scheduled for 14 September during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.