India's gems and jewellery exports grew by 16 per cent to $28.41 billion in 2009-10 due to revival in demand from major markets like the U.S. and Europe.
During 2008-09, exports stood at $24.49 billion with U.S. becoming the largest buyer of jewellery importing around 25 per cent of its needs from India.
“After undergoing challenging times in 2008-09, the Indian gems and jewellery rose like a phoenix and today pre-empting an upward trend due to our constant endeavour to sustain trade relation with the U.S. and also expansion by penetrating other markets,” Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Vasant Mehta told a press conference here on Friday.
The sector was hit hard due to the global slowdown and witnessed a decline in exports since October 2008.
Cut and polished diamond exports registered an increase of 20.11 per cent at $17.54 billion in 2009-10 against $14.6 billion in 2008-09. Besides, coloured gems stone exports increased by 10.55 per cent to $286.65 million from $259.29 million, while gold jewellery exports rose by 9.38 per cent to $9.42 billion from $8.61 billion in 2008-09.
The U.S. and the European Union together accounted for about 70 per cent of India's total gems and jewellery exports. The sector contributed 13 per cent to the country's total merchandise export of about $186 billion during 2008-09.
Mr. Mehta said time had come to establish India as a ‘brand' to reckon with in the gem and jewellery sector and make it a trading hub for these commodities.
“We have taken upon ourselves to help in generating skilled workforce through various skill training institutes. GJEPC will also host the India International Jewellery Show in Mumbai from August 19 to 23 this year,” he added.