Sales in the jewellery sector in Hong Kong have grown 472% over the last 5 years (2007 to 2011).
Jewellery and Watches Sector in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a wealthy, cosmopolitan city. Shopping is a major pastime in Hong Kong and one
of the main draws for visitors from Mainland China. Macao has a thriving hospitality industry
with several 5 star resort hotels and malls. Both Hong Kong and Macao have no sales tax,
attracting millions of visitors each year from for whom jewellery and watches are amongst the
most popular purchases.
Hong Kong has one of the highest GDPs in Asia and Hong Kong consumers are amongst the
most discerning and wealthy in the world. Hong Kong & Macao have no sales tax which keeps
prices competitive compared to elsewhere in the region.
Due to its geographical location at the heart of Asia Pacific, Hong Kong also serves as a re-
export hub for China and other Asian markets. This gives the potential to reach far beyond Hong
Kong’s 7 million consumers and 42 million visitors a year (2011 figures). Shopping, in particular
for jewellery and watches, is the main attraction for many of these visitors. Retail sales grew
25% in 2011, with jewellery, watches, clothing, footwear and leather goods sales accounting for
39% of all retail sales.
67% of visitors to Hong Kong in 2011 came from Mainland China, an increase of 24% from
2010. Just under half of Hong Kong’s visitors from Mainland China stayed at least one night.
The total spent by visitors to Hong Kong is estimated to have increased 20% from 2010.
Mainland visitors accounted for 20% of all retail sales in Hong Kong in 2010 (2011 figures not
available), and 50% of all luxury goods sales.
Sales in the jewellery sector in Hong Kong have grown 472% over the last 5 years (2007 to
2011). Spending on luxury goods in market by Hong Kong locals is forecast to double over the
10 years from 2010 to 2020, whereas spending in Hong Kong by Mainland visitors on luxury
goods is forecast to increase by 800%.
UK Jewellery brands established in Hong Kong include Graff, David Morris London, Shaun
Leane and Links of London, which all have standalone stores, Family owned jeweller Boodles
opened a concession within the Lane Crawford department store in 2011, their first overseas
venture. Lane Crawford also stocks other UK designer ranges including Stephen Webster and
There are niche opportunities for small designers for both fine and costume jewellery and as the
market matures, these opportunities are likely to increase. These types of collections are sold in
small boutiques, online stores, and at seasonal fairs and private events. Recently jewellery
galleries have set up, offering unique pieces of handmade jewellery that border on art.
Hong Kong is also a major location for auctions of high end jewellery and UK auction houses
such as Bonhams, Christies and Sothebys are major players in this sector. At a Christies auction
in Hong Kong in May 2012 a pink diamond ring sold for US$17.4 million. Hong Kong is a
popular auction location because there is no sales tax, and it is a convenient location to attract
bids from high net worth buyers from Mainland China.
Swiss made watches are the most popular type in Hong Kong. The luxury end of the watch
market is seeing the most rapid growth. UK watch brands available in Hong Kong include
Bremont and Backes & Strauss. Rotary plans to launch in Hong Kong in 2012.
Macao has been developing rapidly for a number of years. The liberalisation of the gaming
industry and the opening of several new resort hotels mean that gaming revenue now exceeds
that of Las Vegas, and Macao’s GDP per head now exceeds that of Hong Kong. The luxury
jewellery and watch sector in Macao has grown rapidly alongside the gaming industry.
ξ Fine jewellery – both ready to wear collections and bespoke pieces
ξ Heritage brands
ξ Designer jewellery with a celebrity following
ξ High value jewellery auctions
ξ Luxury designer watch brands
Latest export opportunities – Clothing, Footwear & Fashion
Latest export opportunities Hong Kong
Getting into the market
Hong Kong is a duty free port, and import and export procedures requirements are minimal.
Import duties do not apply to jewellery or watches and there is no sales tax.
For big names, a standalone store is an option. Most brands work with a local brand operator, but
this is not mandatory. Licencing designs to local partners for manufacture in the region is also a
Watch brands typically appoint a distributor based in Hong Kong to enter the market. For
jewellery, it is more common for brands to deal direct with the retailer, whether a large or small
player in the market.
More about doing business in Hong Kong
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
based overseas - or contact your local international trade team
Caroline Sprod, Assistant Trade Commissioner, British Consulate-General Hong Kong.
Tel: +852 2901 3360 or email: email@example.com
Kate Strutt, Senior Trade Adviser, British Consulate-General Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2901 3464 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events – Clothing, Footwear and Fashion
Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair 2012
Date: 5 - 9 September 2012
Website address: http://www.hktdc.com/fair/hkwatchfair-en/HKTDC-Hong-Kong-Watch-and-
Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2012
Date: 19 – 25 September 2012
Website address: http://exhibitions.jewellerynetasia.com/9JG/
Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2013
Date: 5 – 9 March 2013
Website address: http://www.hktdc.com/fair/hkjewellery-en/HKTDC-Hong-Kong-International-
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters