The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) plans to take its “International Colored Gemstone Mines to Market Conference” to Thailand and China in the future to drive industry growth, following positive responses from the first such forum held in Jaipur this week..
GJEPC, which held the mines to market event from November 2 to 3 in Jaipur –popularly known as the Pink City of India– reported an enthusiastic response from participants, including miners, retailers, designers and gemologists from across the world. More than 350 people participated in the conference.
”This is just the beginning,” said Rajiv Jain (pictured), the GJEPC’s chairman. ”We will have to move forward and see how we can increase the business of colored gemstone with the help of local bodies and all the players, not only in India but at other places also.”
Saurabh Chandra, the additional secretary and financial advisor for Ministry of Commerce & Industry, India, stated that India’s gem and jewelry exporters need to develop new market partners given the economic slowdown in the U.S. and Europe.
”One way the jewelry exporters should consider is, to develop international brands to achieve greater value additions and enhance the volume of exports,” Chandra said. ”Formation of joint ventures with global retailing sourcing chains could be another way to increase the market share.”
The industry experts discussed various issues at the conference such as inconsistent supply of raw materials, production and marketing strategies and the technical aspects related to colored stones.
Participants also addressed supply shortages. Most gemstones produced in East Africa are traded in Arusha, a city in northern Tanzania, but the production has disappeared there despite the deposits and a limited amount of mining. This decline in production is mostly due to global economic conditions as well as local factors.
John Saul of Swala Gem Traders said that an increase in rough prices will entice the small scale miners in East Africa to return to mines and gemstones will be abundant again.
”If we want to take this industry to where it is going to be, we are going to have more communication and more promotion,” added Ian Harebottle, the chief executive of Gemfields Plc, one of the world’s leading colored gemstone producers.
Jain said that GJEPC is planning to organize the Mines to Market conference for colored gemstone every alternate year.
GJEPC, which has 5,500 members, is the apex body of the gem and jewelry industry in the country and operates under the supervision of India’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry.