Baselworld 2016 Opening Ceremony

BASEL, Switzerland, March 17, 2016 /CNW/ - Baselworld 2016, the show that is universally acknowledged as the unique platform for the watch and jewellery industry, opened its doors today in the presence of Swiss Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga. With 1,500 of the world's most famous and prestigious brands exhibiting, and more than 4,000 journalists representing traditional and new media from around the globe attending, Baselworld 2016 is poised to once again capture the hearts and minds of professionals and consumers around the world. Baselworld 2016 will run from 17 to 24 March 2016. 

THE GLOBAL LAUNCHING PAD OF TRENDSETTING INNOVATIONS AND CREATIONS

Baselworld is unequalled and unrivalled in providing a unique platform for global key players from the world of watches and jewellery, diamonds, gemstones, pearls, machines and supplies to convene in one place. It is the annual focal point for around 150,000 professionals from over 100 countries who regroup in Basel to take the pulse of the industry, be inspired by the innovations and creations splendidly showcased across 141,000 m2, discover new trends and acquire the latest collections from 1,500 of the world's most famous and prestigious brands. For eight days a year, Baselworld is the nerve centre of the whole industry. The impact Baselworld creates reverberates around the world as news of the latest creations disseminates to every corner of the planet and the eagerly awaited new collections find their way to their final destinations and populate show windows in the most illustrious locations of the world's metropolises.

A MOMENTOUS MILESTONE IN THE 100 YEAR HISTORY OF THE MCH GROUP

Mr René Kamm, CEO of the MCH Group, welcomed Swiss Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, and said he was honoured to have her open Baselworld 2016. This being a special year for the MCH Group, which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its first Mustermesse Basel (Muba), Mr Kamm recounted the history of the fair that marked both the start of the group and the birthplace of the modern Swiss exhibition industry. Paying special tribute to Baselworld, he mentioned his pride and delight in how the show had grown from being a small exhibition of Swiss watches within the Muba, to "evolving to its present status as the premier platform for the entire industry." He stressed, however, that "maintaining this leadership role is hard fought for and Baselworld continues to consolidate and strengthen its leadership position year after year - a rare quality that needs to be underlined." He also touched on the troubled economic situation facing the world and the industry, but emphasised his confidence in the industry saying: "Where passion presides, the will to overcome challenges will always succeed. And the watch and jewellery industry has the passion and resilience to deal with these challenges."

A UNIQUE SHOW AT THE NERVE CENTRE OF AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY

"For eight days a year, Baselworld is the nerve centre for an entire industry that unites here to take the pulse of the business and discover trends," said Ms Sylvie Ritter, Managing Director of Baselworld. She went on to demonstrate with some impressive facts and figures what makes Baselworld so unique, stressing why no other show is equal to Baselworld. "No other event in the world brings together so many famous and prestigious brands; no other watch or jewellery presentation attracts 150,000 visitors from over 100 countries, or can claim the media impact of Baselworld. This show generates annually two billion Swiss Francs of economic benefit with some 13,000 jobs directly related to it." Touching on the reality of today's gloomy economic and political situation and its uncertainty, Ms Ritter underlined that taking a tour through the amazing corridors of Baselworld would provide all the evidence one needed to realise that "the sectors of watchmaking and jewellery have an outsized ability to react, to take into account new situations and to adapt. In other words, to maintain the momentum that has never ceased to be their own." It is these very dynamics that have helped the industry reach levels that no one would have predicted 10 years ago.

In the light of the present economic situation, Ms Ritter addressed the uncertainties of some exhibitors, in particular those of the small and medium businesses that unfortunately do not always have the means to cope with a drop in demand in the medium term. Most importantly, however, is the fact that most exhibitors have remained loyal to Baselworld although they may be limiting their presence elsewhere. By way of conclusion, Ms Ritter unequivocally stated that the show will work tirelessly to reflect the needs and wishes of the industry, justifying the faith of its loyal exhibitors, "because they know that we will continue to move forward, continue to invest in the future, further increase the quality and attractiveness of the show to strengthen its leading position."

BASELWORLD'S IMPACT RESONATES AROUND THE GLOBE PUTTING BASEL AT THE FOCAL POINT OF THE WORLD'S EYES

Basel-Stadt Cantonal Council Member, Christoph Brutschin, welcomed the guests and conveyed the best wishes of the governments of Basel-Land and Basel-Stadt. Whilst acknowledging the difficult state the world finds itself in, Mr Brutschin highlighted the opportunities in a world that, with the trend towards digitisation, is currently on the threshold of a new industrial age. With the acquisition of data obtained and used for research purposes, as well as for the development of new consumer products, the optimistic fact is that this development also has the potential to drive the watchmaking industry to new innovations and creations. In honour of the technological wonders of many famous brands, Mr Brutschin was full of praise for the handmade luxury brands that require numerous hours of work, that "mesmerise by their name, their shapes, their precious materials and their harmonious proportions." He called them mechanical wonders that "arouse the enthusiasm and bring a twinkle to the eyes of both specialists as well as amateurs and enthusiasts," adding that he is excited to discover what new processes and products the future has in store for us, knowing that this industry will find whatever tools are necessary to create a successful future. Finally, Mr Brutschin mentioned how proud he and the population of Basel are that the trendsetting show Baselworld has surmounted all the volatile economic times and year after year continued to grow more and more into the one unmissable show for the entire industry.

The opening ceremony of the premier platform for the watch and jewellery industry, Baselworld, was brought to a close by Swiss Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga who honoured the guests with a speech.

BASELWORLD 2016 WILL BE HELD FROM 17 - 24 MARCH 2016.

Picture material for Baselworld is available to download free of charge at: baselworld.com

SOURCE BASELWORLD / MCH Group

For further information: Press Contact: Loraine Stantzos, Internet: baselworld.com, E-mail: press@baselworld.com, +41-58-206-22-64, Facebook: facebook.com/baselworld, Twitter: twitter.com/baselworld, Weibo: weibo.com/baselworld

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BASELWORLD / MCH Group

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