“We are seeing the markets improve slowly, especially US and Europe to some extent. Looking at the growth in demand in these markets, we are expecting close to 10 per cent growth in the gems and jewellery exports led by polished diamonds,” said Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman, Praveen Shankar Pandya.
Total exports witnessed 28.26 per cent growth at Rs 1.44 lakh crore during April-December 2016, compared to Rs 1.12 lakh crore in the corresponding period of FY15, according to government data.
Cut and polished diamonds saw flat growth at Rs 13,499.76 crore in the period, compared to Rs 13,537.21 crore in the same period of the previous financial year.
Pandya said all eyes are on US President Donald Trump, who is expected to boost the American economy.
“When the economy improves, there are more jobs and a rise in demand for jewellery. It is already a big market, which is expected to be even bigger,” he said.
He said exporters are also watching what Trump does with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — a three-country accord negotiated by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States.
“If NAFTA is abrogated, the exports will increase. However, the negotiations will have to be done carefully,” he further told PTI.
On Europe, Pandya said the situation is improving but the US dollar and Euro parity have made things more competitive.
On exploring new markets, Pandya told PTI that GJEPC will strive to strengthen the existing markets and also explore new ones.
“We are making efforts to strengthen our strong markets like US, Europe. However, we also continue to explore new export destinations for the sector that will earn revenue for the country. We are looking at markets like Korea and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries,” he was quoted by PTI as saying.
GJEPC is also striving to increase the country’s exports to Japan and the Middle East, Pandya told PTI.