India’s gem and jewelry exports will grow by a double-digit percentage this year, Pramod Agrawal, the newly elected chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), predicted this week.
The high quality of Indian manufacturing and a recovery in US and European markets will drive the growth, Agrawal explained at the Signature India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) in Mumbai. The GJEPC is planning to step up promotion in markets that lagged in recent years, including in Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America, he added.
Turning to the local diamond trade, Agrawal said the GJEPC was lobbying the government to retract its decision to raise the import duty on polished diamonds from 2.5% to 5%. The new duty creates an uneven playing field that will hamper the nation’s competitiveness with Belgium, Dubai and Israel, he has argued.
“We have asked the government to roll back the increase of the import duty,” he said at the event. He welcomed the January decision to cut the goods and services tax (GST) on polished diamonds to 0.25% from 3%, saying it would encourage trading in diamonds in the domestic market.
The Signature show, which ran from February 9 to 12, signalled a positive mood in the local industry, with a record pre-registered attendance of 11,000 visitors.