Surat's diamond industry on 'road to recovery': GJEPC
Sep 14, 2020
Business is restarting in diamond manufacturing hub Surat and, as international demand begins to pick up, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council is confident of a festive boost to business.
With exports at around 50% of usual volume, the third and fourth quarter of the 2021 financial year should see exports to countries including the U.S. and China increase, helping the industry to recover, said GJEPC Diamond Panel Committee convenor Sanjay Shah, the GJEPC reported on its website. Covid-19 safety measures remain in place in manufacturing units and many diamond businesses have reported that they are not witnessing any new Covid-19 cases, according to the GJEPC.
Surat has around 7,000 diamond manufacturing units and around 70% are currently operational, amounting to around 5,000 small, medium and large units. Safety protocol in place includes sanitisation tunnels for workers entering facilities, use of Ayurvedic immunity boosters, and temperature checks.
“Cut and polished diamonds are a major contributor to the overall India’s gems and jewellery exports amounting to $35 billion [Rs 2.3 lakh crore],” said GJEPC chairman, Colin Shah.
“Although exports in the first quarter have been severely impacted by the ongoing pandemic, it is heartening to note that exports have commenced from the global seat of diamond manufacturing. As there are orders coming from the US, Hong Kong and parts of Europe for certain types of polished goods, the sector is on the path of recovery. The upcoming holiday season in the western countries, would further boost the demand for gems and jewellery.”
“Consumers now have disposable income, which was earlier being spent on travelling and vacations; some of it is being diverted towards jewellery,” said Sanjay Shah.
“With fuelled hopes of a successful vaccine soon, we will see a complete revival of the industry in a year’s time.”
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