(IDEX Online News) – The 29th edition of the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) got underway today (Thursday) in Mumbai. While international exhibitors are after a foothold in the Indian market, the Indian trade and government are eyeing increased exports to other markets.
Inaugurating the event, Indian Minister of Commerce & Industry Anand Sharma observed, “Manufacturing and exports are two key drivers of the economy. Both have registered low or negative growth in recent months. It is imperative that we reverse this trend.”
The minister went on to say that the government wanted to work with manufacturers and exporters to implement short- and medium-term measures to counter the negative balance of trade.
Overseas exhibitors at IIJS are looking at generating business with the Indian retail industry, as the Indian consuming market is one of the few that still shows growth potential amidst today’s global economic gloom.
At the same time, Indian exhibitors are looking at expanding their network amidst an appreciable domestic market slowdown while looking at potential business with overseas markets, especially other Asian markets and the Middle East.
The Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) has organized an Israeli pavilion for the fifth year running and has brought eight Israeli diamond firms to the show. The IDI itself has given up its space in the pavilion to enable additional diamond firm participation.
IDI Chairman Moti Ganz said that Israel and India have a great deal in common – in terms of business outlook, culture and values. “Both countries have an impressive diamond industry with a long history and tradition. They are also two of the world’s leading diamond centers. Israel and India can complement each other in both manufacturing and trading. We are very interested in expanding our business ties with India,” he said.
Rajiv Jain, Chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the show’s organizer, told the Minister that there were several issues that the Indian industry wanted government action on.
The current Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Thailand, Jain pointed out, made provision for gems and jewelry to be traded without tariff barriers between the two countries. This had been done without the industry being consulted and had resulted in a one-way flow of Thai gems and jewelry into India.
Jain also repeated the GJEPC’s demand of many years that the government develop an international trade show center in Mumbai. The current show facilities are woefully inadequate and a waitlist of hundreds of potential exhibitors could not be accommodated simply because there is no room for expansion.
The show features 852 exhibitors who have taken 1,700 booths and includes five country pavilions from Thailand, Dubai, Turkey, Israel and Belgium. Official trade delegations from more than a dozen countries are also slated to visit the show.