RJC holds AGM in Mumbai

BDB and GJEPC join RJC as co-hosts
Pankaj Parekh, GJEPC Vice-Chairman
Pankaj Parekh, GJEPC Vice-Chairman

For the first time the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM), and Conference outside Europe, selecting Mumbai as the venue. This attendance of RJC in India also involved visits to key diamond and jewellery manufacturing centres in Surat and the SEEPZ Special Economic Zones. The Meeting was held this week.

The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) joined the RJC as co-hosts to present India’s diamond and jewellery industry to a global audience during this major event. In doing so, the GJEPC recognised the importance of the RJC in the development and certification of responsible supply chains in India, especially for major export markets. The RJC delegation was accompanied by GJEPC and BDB on visits to several companies in Surat, focussing on diamond cutting and polishing, as well as jewellery manufacturers in the SEEPZ in Mumbai.

Selecting a venue outside of Europe marked a major milestone in continuing RJC’s efforts to bring the message of responsible business practices to India.

Over a three day series of events including the AGM, conference sessions, factory visits and a gala dinner, leading members of the Indian and International industry exchanged views and learning. Senior industry, U.S. government representatives and civil society experts also participated. In recognition of the role of civil society, the RJC Executive Committee appointed its first member from civil society. Estelle Levin of Estelle Levin Ltd. was formally appointed Co-Chair of the RJC Standards Committee.

“We recognise that RJC provides one of the most effective ways for our members to show they take responsible business practices seriously in order to build confidence with international markets for our products,” said Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC. “We look forward to working more closely with the RJC to accelerate the progress achieved over the last two years which will further help promoting RJC membership to our members. This is an integral part of securing the long-term future for an incredibly successful industry.” The events highlighted how the Indian manufacturing sector has significantly benefited from an industry-led global compliance standard like the RJC to meet export market expectations as well as to retain skilled workers as a way of improving quality and productivity.

GJEPC is leading benchmark work to streamline compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations through Know your Customer/Counterparty (MyKYC). BDB is fully collaborating. This would reduce cost and efforts for all industry players. “We invited the RJC to hold this event in India so we could unleash the power of collaboration to create exciting long term opportunities for the Indian diamond and jewellery industry,” said Anoop Mehta, BDB President. “I am pleased to say that our expectations have been exceeded and this event has built trust and commitment to stronger partnership with the RJC .”

RJC has made significant progress in India, especially over the last two years, and as a key part of this increasing commitment to India, RJC earlier this month announced the appointment of Kinjal Shah as Country Head, India. “India remains a strategic priority for the RJC,” said James Courage, RJC Chairman. “RJC is delighted that this event has strengthened our relationship with the GJEPC and BDB to work together for the future success of the Indian diamond and jewellery industry”.

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