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Baselworld 2016 Opening press conference

Baselworld 2016 Opening press conference
Baselworld 2016 commenced 17th of march with its inaugural press conference, with WorldTempus offering a live broadcast of the event.

Mr René Kamm, CEO of the MCH Group, opened the event by welcoming all present to the press conference. As the MCH Group is celebrating the 100 th anniversary of its first show, the Mustermesse Basel (Muba), this year, Mr. Kamm was proud that “Baselworld is a direct descendent, a ‘child’ of the Muba.” He explained how the show had evolved from being a small exhibition within the Muba to its present status as “the premier platform for the global watch and jewellery industry.”

Ms Sylvie Ritter, Managing Director of Baselworld, greeted the attendees as well as the some 3,000 journalists following the press conference on the livestream, and welcomed them to the “most eagerly awaited crucial show in the calendar of the watch and je wellery industry.” Remarking on the reasons why Baselworld is universally recognised as the global event for watches and jewellery, Ms Ritter highlighted a number of points that made this show unique . “Unique because Baselworld is the nerve centre for the watch and jewellery industry where the pulse of the business is taken; unique because the most prestigious brands, most influential retailers and most prominent journalists gather under one roof; and unique because year after year this is the birthplace of trends that will prevail for the following 12 months.”

Touching on the reality of today’s gloomy economic and political situation, and the consequences for the industry and Baselworld, Ms Ritter acknowledged that Baselworld had felt the uncertainty of some exhibitors among the smaller businesses, those that might not be in a position to prevail in times of low demand in the mid - term. Despite these uncertainties she proudly announced that almost all of those who had exhibited here last year, are also present at this new edition.

Ms Ritter reaffirmed her faith and confidence in the industry saying she has “no doubt that the new creations will once again be all the news and demonstrate the amazing dynamics of these sectors, which enabled them to reach levels that nobody dared hope to achieve just 10 years ago. ”

President of the Baselworld Exhibitors’ Committee, Mr Eric Bertrand, welcomed all present to the latest edition of the show. “I have spent the whole of my career in this industry and have never ceased to be surprised not only by its continuous creativity and innovation, but equally by its ability to react to difficult situations,” he said.
Despite facing challenge after challenge, the industry has “always bounced back farther and higher.” And Mr Bertrand believes this ability is not achieved by chance, but much rather that, “these successes and achievements are the result of passionate people active in the areas of watchmaking, jewellery and precious stones, who give the best of themselves, their dynamics and their desires to allow people to continue to dream.”

Mr François Thiébaud, President of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, rounded off the press conference by highlighting the fact that for eight days a year Baselworld dresses up time. Commenting on the results of Swiss watch exports, Mr Thiébaud said that the sector weakened only very slightly in 2015 (minus 3.3%), despite the global political and economic context. Given that for the global watchmaking industry, the value of Swiss watches exported is by far the highest in the world, he underlined the fact that Swiss watchmaking has grown by more than 60% since 2010!

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