India’s G&J Gross Exports Up 9.85%; GJEPC Chalks Vision 2022
The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) declared the provisional performance figures for the gems and jewellery trade from India at a press briefing held in Mumbai today. At the press meet, Chairman GJEPC, Praveenshankar Pandya, also spelt out the vision of the apex body of the industry for the coming years.
Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director (ED) of the GJEPC first made a presentation on the industry’s performance, giving an overview of where the industry stands today.
He called 2016 a year of “disruption” on account of various unexpected developments like Brexit, the election of Donald Trump; and, on the homefront, the demonetisation and looming introduction of GST.
However, Ray said the gems and jewellery export sector of the country had managed to hold its own and had shown commendable growth given the international economic situation.
The gems and jewellery industry has a 15.71% share of India’s total merchandise exports – a figure that has increased from the earlier roughly 13% share – and contributes 7% to the GDP of the country. It has grown at a CAGR of 14.5% over the past 50 years since the GJEPC was first set up.
Overall, gross exports of gems and jewellery for FY 2016-17 totalled US$ 43.156 billion as compared to gross exports worth US$ 39.286 billion achieved in the previous financial year. This marks an increase of 9.85%.
Total exports of cut & polished diamonds amounted to almost US$ 22.784 billion for FY 2016-17 as against around US$ 20.668 for FY 2015-16; registering a growth of 10.24%. Gold jewellery exports for the period at about US$ 8.722 billion were 1.92% higher than exports worth US$ 8.557 billion in the previous financial year. Coloured gemstones exports for FY 2016-17 of US$ 419.90 million showed a decline of 3.08% compared to US$ 433.26 million worth of exports of the segment in 2015-16. Silver jewellery performed well, achieving exports worth almost US$ 4.021 billion for FY 2016-17 marking an increase of 35.83% over exports of US$ 2.960 billion in 2015-16.
Praveenshankar Pandya noting that the India centre was the world leader as far as cut and polished diamonds were concerned, said that it was his and the GJEPC’s view that the country should become the leading supplier of gold jewellery in the international market by 2022. This was in alignment with the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision as well, he stressed.
The GJEPC Chairman informed those present that the organisation was preparing a vision statement which would be ready shortly. Apart from becoming leaders in the gold jewellery segment, Pandya also spelt out how the diamond industry could further strengthen its position.
In order to achieve the goals set up in the vision document, Pandya said it would be important to provide the necessary infrastructure, and to upgrade skills of gems and jewellery artisans and skill new personnel to man the gems and jewellery industry.
Pandya spoke about the move to set up the first Jewellery Park somewhere in/near Mumbai where all technology and services would be available to jewellery manufacturers under one roof. Once this was up and running; and all wrinkles were ironed out, a working model could be created which would be replicated across the country, Pandya said. He added that the Chief Minister of Maharashtra has given his support to the project and promised to allocate some land for the purpose.
The Council has been operating the Indian Institute of Gems & Jewellery (IIGJ) at various centres in the country, to impart training for those desirous of making a career in the gems and jewellery industry. Pandya said that two new such institutes would be set up soon – one in Udipi and another in Varanasi.
However, Pandya stressed that in the new era, it was essential to have a university for gems and jewellery. He said that he has mooted the idea to various authorities and hopes that one comes up soon.
The Chairman also explained that the Council and other trade bodies have put their views on the question of GST to the Centre as well as to various Chief Ministers. He said that finally it was up to the GST Council to take a decision and hoped it would take the right decision; or it could have a negative impact on the gems and jewellery business.