BLOG-Handcrafted gold jewellery to drive Indian sector growth
BY DAVID BROUGH
MUMBAI, July 31, 2017 – Handcrafted gold jewellery exports are a priority plank of Indian plans to grow gem and jewellery exports by more than 40 percent over the next five years.
At the July edition of the Indian International Jewellery Show (IIJS Premiere), handcrafted gold jewellery exports to key markets such as the United States and the United Kingdom, were a much discussed topic in the seminar programme and among leading industry figures attending the show.
Praveenshankar Pandya, chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the industry umbrella body, called handcrafted gold jewellery production and exports a priority during the show’s news conference as he outlined the GJEPC’s ambitions to drive up annual gem and jewellery exports to $60 billion by 2022 from $43 billion now.
Handcrafted jewellery making in centres such as Kolkata is still a major part of Indian 22-carat gold jewellery production, alongside machine-made jewellery, and accounts for a big slice of the skilled workforce, making it a key focus for Narendra Modi’s government.
One seminar at IIJS Premiere discussed prospects for Indian handcrafted gold jewellery exports to break into the UK and US markets.
Panellists agreed that great opportunities presented themselves for such exports despite challenges such as Brexit and a 2.5 percent import duty into the UK following the lifting of the General Scheme of Preferences (GSP) early this year.
Hedging of gold used in the jewellery was recommended to reduce the financial risks faced by exporters.
Exporters of Indian handcrafted gold jewellery will need to decide whether to brand production: unbranded goods can be sold by British Asian retailers under their own brand names, otherwise exporters can take steps to brand their production and potentially make higher margins.
Panellists agreed that “Made in India” is a mighty plus point for Indian production now and should be shouted from the rooftops, as India can be proud of its highly skilled craftspeople and heritage.