JNA Awards Announces Impressive Judging Panel For 2015 (PR Newswire)

– James Courage, Albert Cheng, Lin Qiang, Nirupa Bhatt and Yasukazu Suwa invited to sit on selection panel

HONG KONG, May 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The JNA Awards is pleased to announce that some of the most respected names in the jewellery and gemstone industry will form the independent judging panel this year. Three of the industry’s most recognised names will continue on in their roles as judges since the event’s launch in 2012. They are James Courage, Chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC); Albert Cheng, Managing Director of the World Gold Council, Far East (WGC); and Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE). Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of GIA India and the Middle East, is returning as a judge for the third consecutive year, and Yasukazu Suwa, Chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc, is joining the panel for the first time.

The JNA Awards honours companies and individuals that have demonstrated excellence and innovation in the jewellery and gemstone industry, with a focus on their accomplishments in the Asian region.

The judging process for the JNA Awards is independent, robust, transparent and intellectually rigorous. The selection panel consists of a group of distinguished individuals who are widely recognised for their expertise and insights into specific industry segments, and represent regions that are key to the jewellery and gemstone trade.

“We are truly grateful to have such a distinguished group of experts on this year’s judging panel. We look forward to working with them in recognising and identifying unique business models, innovative ideas and exceptional visions,” said Letitia Chow, Founder of JNA and Director of Business Development  Jewellery Group at UBM Asia.

RJC’s Courage commented, “Participation in the judging process for the last three years has provided me with a real insight into the dynamics of the jewellery business and how, in many areas, the industry is a pioneer in the use of technology, in the application of social media and web platforms for business and communications, and in social responsibility and CSR along the supply chain something close to my role as Chairman of the RJC. I am fortunate that in my extensive travels, I have been able to witness change on the ground and to learn, at first hand, of the respect in which the JNA Awards is held across Asia.  I am honoured to have been invited to be a judge for the JNA Awards 2015.” Courage has been involved in the jewellery industry for many decades as PGI’s CEO until this year, as Chairman of RJC, and with many years of international experience with De Beers in the 80s and 90s.

“It is my greatest pleasure to join other respected leaders from the industry in the JNA Awards 2015 judging panel.  I value the experience and knowledge that I have gained as a judge of the JNA Awards for the past three years, and I look forward to seeing more qualified entries and first-time entrants sharing their best business practices and innovative approaches to advance the development of the trade,” WGC’s Cheng said. Cheng joined the WGC regional office in Singapore in March 1993 as Regional Manager for planning and business development in the Far East. In 2003, he was appointed to his current role with responsibility for operations in the entire region.

Lin of SDE remarked, “Having been part of the awards since its inception four years ago, it is extremely encouraging to see it gain international recognition within the industry and grow in size in terms of both entries and attendees over such a short period of time. I am deeply honoured to be invited once again as a judge in this industry-wide event.” Since 2000, Lin has been the President and Managing Director of SDE, the only official diamond trading platform in mainland China, which leads the implementation of an effective government policy for the country’s diamond industry.

“I am pleased to participate in this important industry event as a member of the judging panel. The awards judging process is important since it encourages businesses to get to the next level. It is an honour to share valuable insights on outstanding industry practices with distinguished experts from the business community,” commented Bhatt, who has received several global honours for her contributions to the gemstone and jewellery industry.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, and Gem and Jewellery Skill Council of India, as well as an invitee to the marketing committee of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council in India.

Suwa of Suwa & Son added, “I am honoured to be invited to serve as a judge for the 2015 JNA Awards and to work with such a prestigious group.  For an event of such high standards and quality, I anticipate that the judging process will not be an easy task, but I look forward to approaching it with an open mind.  We hope that this year’s awards will continue to inspire members of the industry to strive for excellence and to share the passion we have for the jewellery industry.” Suwa is chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc, a Japanese gemstone dealer business established in 1908. He was the first Japanese national to earn his Graduate Gemologist certification from the GIA in 1965.

The JNA Awards will culminate with a ceremony and gala dinner on Sunday, 20 September, at the Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong, which will be held on the sidelines of the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair 2015. The Awards is led by Rio Tinto Diamonds and Chow Tai Fook as Headline Partners, with Diarough Group, G ubelin Group, Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies, SDE and Guangdong Land Holdings Limited as Honoured Partners.

For more information about the JNA Awards, visit www.JNAawards.com or contact:

JNA Awards Marketing
UBM Asia ( Hong Kong
+852 2516-1683
[email protected]

Notes for Editors:

1. About JNA (www.jewellerynewsasia.com)

JNA is the organiser of the JNA Awards and 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.riotinto.com/diamondsandminerals)

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. 

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, one of the world’s leading jeweller and the largest in terms of sales, was listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in December 2011. Chow Tai Fook is now a constituent stock of the Hang Seng China 50 Index and the Hang Seng Mainland 100 Index.

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 recent acquisition of Hearts On Fire, an internationally acclaimed luxury jewellery brand, has further underpinned the Group’s stature as a diamond expert in the industry.

The Group has an extensive retail network comprising over 2,250 Chow Tai Fook and Hearts On Fire points of sale spanning nearly 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-Shop and various e-tail accounts on other online shopping platforms.

The Group’s sophisticated 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 POS and e-tail channels.

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 G ubelin Group ( www.gubelin.com)

Since 1854, the name G ubelin 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, G ubelin Jewellery established its presence in Hong Kong.

Besides the jewellery boutiques and the G ubelin Ateliers, the group has a newly-established Academy and a world-renowned Gemmological Laboratory. The G ubelin 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 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 organizes 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.

3.4 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.

3.5 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 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 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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