India seen as fastest growing jewel market as IIJS begins
MUMBAI, India, August 19, 2010 – India is the fastest growing jewellery market in the world, officials said, as the 27th edition of the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) kicked off.
Vasant Mehta, Chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), addresses the inauguration ceremony of IIJS in Mumbai, India, on August 19, 2010.
“India is fast emerging as the most sought after sourcing hub of jewellery,” Vasant Mehta, Chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), told a packed audience of industry leaders today at the inauguration ceremony of IIJS, which runs until August 23.
“We are the fastest growing jewellery market in the world, one of India’s leading foreign exchange generating sectors.”
Mehta said the performance of the jewellery industry is critical as it contributes to 13 percent of India’s total merchandise exports and employs 1.5 million workers.
“With a large pool of skilled labour, and easy availability of raw materials, India is today unabashedly surging forward to create Brand India.”
Almost 30,000 trade visitors are expected to visit IIJS this year. The show features 800 exhibitors, including a strong contingent from overseas, including the Antwerp diamond sector.
Chhagan Chandrakant Bhujbal, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, said in a keynote address at the inaugural ceremony that IIJS has grown to become Asia’s second largest jewellery trade show.
Chhagan Chandrakant Bhujbal, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, visits a booth at IIJS 2010 with Vasant Mehta, Chairman of the GJEPC, and Rajiv Jain, Vice Chairman of the GJEPC.
Later, Mehta and GJEPC Vice Chairman Rajiv Jain took the minister on a tour of the crowded halls at IIJS, visiting several booths including manufacturer Rosy Blue. IIJS is held at the NSE Complex in Mumbai.
INDIA INTERNATIONAL JEWELLERY WEEK
This year, IIJS coincides with the first ever India International Jewellery Week (IIJW), an extravaganza of catwalk events at the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai showing off the latest creations of India’s leading jewellery designers, such as Laksh Pahuja.
Mehta forecast growing revenues from IIJS as its exhibitor list continued to expand.
“This year we can look at IIJS being an approximately Rs. 4,000 crore (40 billion rupees) event,” he said.
This compares with Rs. 3,400 crore (34 billion rupees) last year.
Exhibitors see India, which has an expanding middle class and an increasing population, as a fast-growing jewellery consumer market with great potential.
In the Antwerp World Diamond Centre pavilion, Bert Jan Schatz of Antwerp-based Benelux Diamonds, said, “India will become an enormous consumer market. The local consumer in India is becoming more affluent. A small part of the Indian population is a significant number of people — and they love jewellery and buy lots of goods.”