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Baselworld 2016 Kicks Off Expecting 150K Visitors

Mar 20, 2016 9:24 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The annual Baselworld watch and jewelry show opened March 17, with around 150,000 professionals expected to visit the exhibition from more than 100 countries over the course of the week-long event.

The fair will host 1,500 exhibiting brands and generates $2.06 billion (CHF 2 billion) of “economic benefit” annually, Baselworld’s managing director Sylvie Ritter said in a statement Thursday. Last year’s show saw a 3-percent drop in traffic.

“No other event in the world brings together so many famous and prestigious brands. No other watch or jewelry presentation attracts 150,000 visitors from over 100 countries, or can claim the media impact of Baselworld,” Ritter said.

The show comes as the Swiss timepiece industry has suffered consecutive dips in export levels to key markets and come across tough competition from smartwatches. Export data for February is scheduled to be released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry March 22. Analysts are also expecting some of the nation’s watchmakers to be taken over by larger international companies.

François Thiébaud, president of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, defended the Swiss watch industry’s performance ahead of the week-long show, claiming that the 3.3-percent decline in exports in 2015 was moderate when put into context of the wider economic malaise that has plagued the global economy.
Tags: basel, Baselworld, events, Jewelry, Rapaport News, Swiss watches, Switzerland, Trade Shows, watches
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