HONG KONG, Sept. 5, 2014  /PRNewswire/ -- A record-breaking number of Hong Kong companies were shortlisted for this year's prestigious JNA Awards, which honours outstanding achievements in the jewellery and gemstone industry in Asia.

Out of the 29 companies from 10 countries that made it to the list of Honourees, eight were from Hong Kong vying for nine awards. This is Hong Kong's highest participation level since there were only seven and six companies shortlisted for eight and seven awards in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Mr Gregory So Kam-leung, GBS, JP, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Government of HKSAR

Letitia Chow, Founder of JNA and Chair of the JNA Awards 2014 judging panel, said, "It gives me great pleasure to witness the successful development of the Hong Kong jewellery and gemstone industry, and the high level of interest from Hong Kong companies in the 2014 JNA Awards.

"It is encouraging to see Hong Kong leading the pack and competing in multiple award categories. As an important hub for the jewellery industry, Hong Kong is showing its strengths, from manufacturing and marketing to management, business innovation and sustainability. I congratulate the shortlisted companies and look forward to seeing Hong Kong's continued growth," added Chow.

Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong, said, "Hong Kong is Asia's leading jewellery manufacturer and distribution centre. Our jewellery products are reputed for their excellence in quality, design, variety and price. We are pleased that our products have continued to win high popularity among customers and gained industry-wide recognition in the global market."

The finalists from Hong Kong consist of innovative companies all raring to bring home the JNA Awards 2014 trophy.

The companies and their award categories are:

1.   Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd.

· Brand of the Year- Retail

· Retailer of the Year

· E-tailer of the Year

2.   Diamond Services Ltd.

· Industry Innovation of the Year - Manufacturing - Technology

3.   Fukui Shell Nucleus Factory

· Industry Innovation of the Year - Manufacturing - Technology

4.   KGK Jewellery Manufacturing Ltd.

· Manufacturer of the Year - Gem-set Jewellery (a first for Hong Kong in this category)

5.   L' Dezen Jewellery Co Ltd.

· Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Age 40 and below)

6.   Luk Fook Holdings (International) Ltd.

· Employer of the Year

7.   Plukka

· E-tailer of the Year

8.   WCJ (Holdings) Co Ltd.

· Industry Innovation of the Year - Manufacturing - Business

· Sustainability Initiative of the Year

The judging panel this year consists of five industry experts, namely Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in India and the Middle East; Bill Boyajian, Founder and President of Bill Boyajian & Associates Inc and former president of GIA; Albert Cheng, Managing Director of the World Gold Council - Far East (WGC); James Courage, Chief Executive Officer of Platinum Guild International (PGI); and Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE).

The finalists and award recipients will be honoured at the JNA Awards ceremony and gala dinner to be held on Tuesday, 16 September, at the InterContinental Hong Kong, during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.

The awards ceremony and gala dinner is a ticketed event only.

Now on its third year, JNA Awards 2014 is led by Rio Tinto Diamonds and Chow Tai Fook as Headline Partners, with Diarough Group, Gübelin Group, the Israel Diamond Institute, KARP Group, Paspaley Pearling Company, Shanghai Diamond Exchange and Guangdong Land Holdings Ltd as Honoured Partners.

*For more information on the event, please visit* *www.JNAawards.com**or contact:*

JNA Awards Marketing

UBM Asia (Hong Kong)Â



*Notes for Editors:*

*1. About JNA** (www.jewellerynewsasia.com)*

JNA is the flagship magazine 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, gemstone, jewellery manufacturing, and equipment and supplies sectors.

*2. About the Headline Partners*

*2.1 Rio Tinto Diamonds (**www.riotintodiamonds.com**)*

Rio Tinto operates a fully integrated diamonds business from exploration through to sales and marketing. It is one of the world's major diamond producers through its 100 percent control of the Argyle mine in Australia, 60 percent interest in Diavik mine in Canada, 78 percent interest in the Murowa mine in Zimbabwe and 100 percent interest in the Bunder project in India.Â

Rio Tinto's share of the production from its three operating diamond mines is sold through its sales and marketing office in Antwerp, with representative offices in Mumbai, Hong Kong and New York. It also operates a niche cutting and polishing factory in Perth for the rare pink diamonds from its Argyle mine. Rio Tinto is a leading supporter of the Kimberley Process, as well as a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council.

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

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd, a leading jeweller in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, was listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in December 2011 and has become the world's largest pure-play jeweller by market capitalisation. Chow Tai Fook is now a constituent stock of the Hang Seng China 50 Index and the Hang Seng Mainland 100 Index. Its principal products are mass luxury jewellery and high-end luxury jewellery products including gem-set jewellery, gold products, platinum and karat gold product, and watches.

The Group's iconic brand "Chow Tai Fook" and 85 years of operations represent key competitive advantages of its business. The Chow Tai Fook brand is recognised for its trustworthiness and authenticity, and renowned for its product design, quality and value.

The Group has an extensive retail network, with over 2,100 points of sale in more than 470 cities in Greater China, Singapore and Malaysia. It also has a growing presence in e-commerce. The Group's vertically integrated business model provides an effective and tight control over the entire operation chain from raw material procurement, design, production, to marketing and sales through its extensive retail network.

*3. About the Honoured Partners*

*3.1 Diarough Group (http://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 Gubelin Group (http://www.gubelin.com/)*

Since 1854, the name Gubelin has stood for the very highest standards in gemstones, jewellery and watches. With its selection of the most sought-after timepieces and jewellery of its own design, the family-run business is represented at all the prime locations in Switzerland: Lucerne, Zurich, Basel, Bern, St. Moritz, Lugano and Geneva. Last November, Gubelin Jewellery established its presence in Hong Kong.

Besides the jewellery boutiques and the Gubelin Ateliers, the group has a newly-established Academy and a world-renowned Gemmological Laboratory. The Gubelin Gem Lab is one of the oldest and most respected institutions of its kind, relied on by dealers, auction houses, royal families and collectors since the 1920s.

*3.3 KARP Group (http://www.karpjewellery.com/)*

With over four decades of experience and expertise in the diamond trade, KARP caters to international luxury brands. Apart from being a DTC Sightholder, the group is recognised as an "institution" in the industry, using the most technologically advanced manufacturing systems in the business. KARP manufactures a huge array of products, from 0.005-carat goods to stones weighing 10 carats and above.

It excels in the production of certified fine makes, fancy-cut goods and fancy coloured diamonds. The manufacturer is one of the few companies that has achieved up to 5-micron precision in diamond manufacturing.

*3.4 Paspaley Pearling Company (http://www.paspaley.com/)*

Paspaley Pearling Company is the leading producer of Australian South Sea pearls, supplying strands, loose pearls and mother-of-pearl shells to many of the world's leading jewellery wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers.

The Paspaley family became involved in pearling in the 1920s and is the world's only South Sea pearl producer with origins in the natural pearl industry. Paspaley Pearling Company Pty Ltd was incorporated in 1953 and built its success and reputation as a pioneer in the cultivation of South Sea pearls. Today, the Company sets the benchmark for modern pearling practices, operating numerous pearl farms dotted along more than 2,500 kilometres of the remote and pristine coastline of north-west Australia.

Paspaley's harvest represents the majority of Australian South Sea pearl production and has a well-deserved reputation for exceptional quality.Â

*3.5 Shanghai Diamond Exchange (http://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.

*3.6 The Israel Diamond Institute (**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 the Israeli diamond industry has an illustrious history dating back to the late 1930s.Â

IDI works for the benefit of Israel's diamond industry in the areas of marketing and business promotion, international communications, R&D, rough sourcing, professional training, publishing and security consultancy. IDI is responsible for industry participation in major trade fairs around the world, organising Israeli Diamond Pavilions, receptions, press conferences and other events at these fairs.

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

*3.7 The Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (http://www.gdland.com.hk/en)*

The Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (GDLAND), with its headquarter 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 Asia's leading exhibition organiser and the biggest commercial organiser in mainland 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 30 offices and 1,300 staff.

With a track record spanning over 30 years, UBM Asia operates in 20 market sectors with 230 dynamic face-to-face exhibitions and high-level professional conferences, 23 targeted trade publications, 20 round-the-clock online products for over 1,000,000 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 11 offices in the major cities in mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Guzhen and Shenzhen, where we organise more than 90 exhibitions and conferences. In ASEAN, UBM Asia operates from its offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines with over 40 events in this region. UBM India teams in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai organise 40 exhibitions and conferences every year across the country.

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Reported by PR Newswire Asia 2 hours ago.

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