China can be great export opportunity for Italian goldsmithing industry
By David Brough
AREZZO, Italy, April 7, 2019 – China can be an outstanding export opportunity for the Italian goldsmithing industry, but Italian and EU officials need to lobby for a fairer trade regime.
In a keynote speech at the opening of the OROAREZZO gold jewellery fair in Tuscany on April 6, Ivana Ciabatti, head of Italian goldsmiths’ group Federorafi, said China had the potential to become a leading export market for Italy’s gold jewellery industry.
“Officials need to do more. It is not a fair situation,” she told Jewellery Outlook later, referring to the need to resolve an uneven tariffs structure.
GOLD ART gold jewellery at OROAREZZO 2019
Without an effort in this direction, the Italian goldsmithing sector will be more of a hostage than a partner of the Asian giant.”
Italy currently exports less than one percent of its gold jewellery (worth a few tens of millions of euros) to China, which is the world’s biggest producer, manufacturer and exporter of gold jewellery.
Italy, which has a long tradition of goldsmithing, centred in locations such as Arezzo, Vicenza and Valenza, needs to push for a more level playing field in terms of customs duties, Italian goldsmiths said.
Italian gold jewellery exports to China pay duties of around 8 percent, while Chinese gold jewellery imports into Italy pay 2.5 percent, Italian goldsmiths and manufacturers said.
China is the fourth biggest gold jewellery importer into Italy, but is the 15th biggest market for Italian gold jewellery exports after Poland and Romania, according to Federorafi.
Italy manufactures more than 7.5 billion euros a year of gold jewellery, 85 percent of which is exported.
State-of-the-art gold jewellery machinery is on show at OROAREZZO
The sector employs 35,000 people across almost 8,000 companies, Federorafi says.
Leading markets for Italian gold jewellery exports include the UAE, the United States, and Switzerland.
Over a decade ago, Italy was the world’s number one exporter of gold and silver jewellery, but has since slipped down the rankings, pressured by high costs of production and a shortfall of new goldsmithing talent entering the domestic industry.
Footfall was strong at the 40th edition of OROAREZZO, which runs from April 6-9, a leading showcase for the latest Italian gold jewellery designs and a top conduit for exports.
“OROAREZZO, like VICENZAORO, is an extraordinary window for the sector and a vital appointment for international buyers who can handle the most recent innovations that are ‘Made in Italy,’” Ciabatti said.
Buyers from around the world – from Canada to Asia – flew in to attend the event and restock.
The products on show included gold wedding bands from leading Italian suppliers such as UNOAERRE, to ultra lightweight pieces from Giordini, which uses electroforming technology in 18-carat gold.