Union Minister of State for Commerce D. Purandeswari on Friday said the State governments should be pro-active in leveraging Central assistance to make better infrastructure available for promoting trade exhibitions.

Inaugurating the 6th edition of Hyderabad Jewellery Pearl and Gem Fair at the impressive Hitex Exhibition Centre here, she said while Andhra Pradesh government had done well by providing appreciable facilities to showcase trade, similar advantages should be created in tier II and III cities too.

A teacher of gemmology, she said it was gratifying to see many of her students becoming successful in their professions.

“It is time to encourage the gems sector. We have the skill sets and youth from the semi-urban and rural areas need focussed training to do well in this field,” Ms. Purandeswari said. The three-day expo was put together by UBM India, the business media company, with an estimated 200 brands showcased in 150 stalls. According to UBM India’s MD Joji George, jewellery worth Rs. 500-650 crore was on display.

He said their recent initiative in exposing Indian jewellery manufacturers and traders to foreign fairs like the one in Turkey recently, attended by a group of 60 Indians, was very successful. Increasingly, people were expressing interest in attending expositions abroad and willing to be more exposed to the business-to-business (B2B) mode of trading. Jewellery fairs in Hong Kong, Russia and Singapore, with exclusive Indian pavilions, were in the offing.

Mr. George said they were working on an international pharmaceutical expo here next year.