Feb 13, 2020

IIJS Signature 2020 Opens in Mumbai

The 13th edition of IIJS Signature opened this morning in Mumbai with the organisers, The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), expressing the confidence that the Indian G&J industry was successfully navigating its way forward in the face of many external challenges.

Cutting the ribbon to mark the formal inauguration of the event that is being held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai from February 13-16, Hon’ble Minister for Industries and Mining, Government of Maharashtra, Shri Subhash Desai expressed the support and best wishes of the government to the industry.

“IIJS Signature has received a good response with over 700 exhibitors occupying 1,300 booths and nearly 12,000 pre-registered visitors,” said GJEPC Chairman Pramod Kumar Agrawal while addressing the inaugural function.

In conjunction with IIJS Signature, the India Gem & Jewellery Machinery Expo (IGJME), is also being held at the same venue, where international and domestic manufacturers of machinery and related services and accessories, will be showcasing their offerings. 

“We are confident of achieving our long term vision of increasing exports to US$ 75 billion by 2025 and generating an additional 2 million jobs for the country,” he added.

Agrawal listed out some of the projects initiated by the GJEPC, with support from the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Finance, including the setting up of common facility centres (CFCs) and design institutes, as well as the plans for Jewellery Parks, SNZs, a Gem Bourse and Model Workshops, which were at various stages of development.

“The focus is on growth with value addition, as well as schemes that will help the progress of large numbers of MSME enterprises and the upliftment of the millions of artisans who form the backbone of the industry,” he said.

Speaking to the media at the inaugural function, GJEPC Vice Chairman Colin Shah also pointed out that the GJEPC had taken a number of steps to overcome the credit crunch faced in the last couple of years by working with the banks through a Coordination Committee and other platforms. “We will soon be signing an MOU with a leading public sector bank for use of the MyKYC industry database which has been developed and continuously updated by the Council. Other banks are likely to follow and this will greatly help in risk mitigation,” Shah said.

The GJEPC Chairman and Vice Chairman also said that the industry had taken a number of steps in the face of the recent global tragedy of the coronavirus outbreak. This included approaching the government and banks to relax some of the regulations related to bank credit, especially for exports to China and Hong Kong based companies, as well as urging the industry “to produce with extreme caution and as per the conditions of the market” so they are not left with surplus stocks over the next few months.

Shah said that the green shoots of a recovery after the slowdown of last year were already being seen with exports of silver jewellery and lab grown diamonds registering significant growth. Expressing the confidence that for most other verticals, “the worst was over”, he added that the Council was very hopeful that the situation would improve in the second half of the current year.

Briefly referring to the launch of two new shows scheduled over the next couple of months, the International Gem & Jewellery Show (IGJS) in Jaipur and the Mega Shopping Festival planned for Ahmedabad and Bengaluru, the Council officials said that these would provide a further boost to exports.

They complement the IIJS shows that were already being held twice a year, as well as the India Pavilions at international shows across the world, and the numerous buyer-seller meets that were organised in India and abroad, both Agrawal and Shah explained.

“IIJS caters to the local retailers and also attracts a number of overseas retailers, mainly NRIs from across the world, who cater to the Indian diaspora in their respective countries,” Shah elaborated. “On the other hand, we have consistently reached out to other international buyers with product lines suited to the needs of their local clientele, through both the India Pavilions and BSMS. The IGJS aims to boost interaction with this segment of the global market, and we are carefully curating lists of selected buyers who are being invited to participate.”

Elaborating on the Mega Shopping Festival, Agrawal said that the concept had been presented by the Hon’ble Minister of Finance, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman as one of the steps to boost Indian exports in various categories and promote Make in India merchandise. “The Festival is being organised on behalf of the ministry by the ITPO, and the respective Export Promotion Councils are being associated with them. Every Indian mission across the world is publicising the show to potential visitors, and we hope that not only will it provide an immediate boost, but that it will also grow significantly in the years to come.”

Pic Caption: Hon’ble Minister for Industries and Mining, Government of Maharashtra, Shri Subhash Desai, GJEPC Chairman Pramod Kumar Agrawal, Vice Chairman Colin Shah and members of the Committee of Administration at the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the inauguration of IIJS Signature 2020