AREZZO, Italy, May 10, 2015 - Andrea Boldi, President of Arezzo Fairs, believes that using the latest technologies and social media, combined with support for developing goldsmithing and jewellery design skills via education and training, will be vital to the future success of the centuries-old Italian goldsmith sector.
Speaking during the OroArezzo trade fair, Boldi told Jewellery Outlook in an interview that the Italian industry was embacing the latest virtual technologies to support traditional artisanal skills, in order to create highly desirable and competitive jewellery for the world market, backed up with "Made in Italy" branding which highlights the superb skills of Italian craftspeople.
The Italian goldsmithing industry has faced severe competition in recent years from countries such as India that have lower labour costs. Also, a number of Italian goldsmith companies have struggled to obtain bank financing.
Boldi said he was determined to showcase the skills of the goldsmith sector in Arezzo, one of the key cradles of the Italian goldsmithing tradition, which hosts OroArezzo, now the No. 1 mid-year jewellery fair held on Italian territory, filling the gap between the VicenzaOro shows in January and September.
"This is the heart of Italian gold," he said of historic Arezzo, in scenic Tuscany, which has a proud tradition of gold jewellery-making going back hundreds of years.
Arezzo, Vicenza and Valenza are major hubs for Italian gold jewellery making. The Italian industry is highly fragmented, often family owned.
Exhibitors at OroArezzo, running from May 9-12, 2015, and now in its 36th edition, rose by 35 percent to 650 in just one year, with the addition of new exhibitors coming from Vicenza, as VicenzaOro has shifted its mid-year event to Dubai. The first edition of VicenzaOro Dubai was held last month.
The United Arab Emirates is the No. 1 export market for Italian gold jewellery.STRONG U.S, MARKET FOR ITALIAN GOLD JEWELLERY EXPORTS
Boldi said he expected 2015 to be a strong year for exports of Italian gold and silver jewellery, with growing demand expected in the United States, due to its recovering economy and the strength of the U.S. dollar.
"There are very good prospects in the United States due to the higher dollar," he said.
OroArezzo is expected to grow in the coming years, with the addition of new exhibition capacity and more international exhibitors.
Visitor numbers were high at this year's edition, with about 500 retail buyers from around the world.