IIJS Signature trade show sees high turnout, strong export signals
By David Brough
MUMBAI, February 11, 2018 – Visitor turnout was high at the IIJS Signature show in Mumbai, signalling strong exports by India’s gem and jewelry sector in the coming year.
The positive mood was reflected by a record pre-registered attendance of 11,000 visitors to the show, India’s first major trade event of the year, which runs from February 9-12.
Pramod Agrawal, newly elected Chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said he expected double digit growth in gem and jewelry exports in dollar terms year-on-year in 2018.
He told reporters the high quality of Indian manufacturing and a recovery in key markets, including the United States and Europe, would drive export growth.
He said the GJEPC would step up promotional efforts in other markets that had lagged in recent years, including CIS countries, Africa and Latin America.
Agrawal called for the government to cancel a doubling of the import duty on polished diamonds to 5 percent, announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1.
“We have asked the government to roll back the increase of the import duty,” he told a news conference after the opening ceremony.
Agrawal has said that the duty increase would hamper “India’s chances of becoming an international diamond trading hub” as it “doesn’t provide India a level playing field vis-à-vis other peers such as Belgium, Dubai and Israel.”
He welcomed a decision in late January to cut the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for diamonds to 0.25 percent from 3 percent, saying it would encourage the trade in diamonds in the domestic market.
Majestic opulence was a key design theme at IIJS Signature, featuring bold designs in 22-carat gold with color gemstones and diamonds.
Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers from Jaipur presented a graceful, multi-layered necklace from its Adaa collection, inspired by royal women in India, adorned in floral motifs set with emeralds, diamonds and rubies.
The collection by K.P. Sanghvi revealed a modern edge, showcasing rings in three shades of German alloyed rose, white and yellow gold, fitted with diamonds using the latest machine technology.