IIJS Signature 2024 got off to a flying start, with several dignitaries of the industry attending the event, which is being held at the Jio World Convention Centre (JWCC) from January 4 to January 7, and at NESCO from January 5 to January 8.
The distinguished guests included Joy Alukkas, Chairperson of Joyalukkas, Anoop Mehta, President, Bharat Diamond Bourse, and Rajesh Mishra (IRS), Zonal Development Commissioner, SEEPZ-SEZ.
The event saw the participation of key figures from the GJEPC, including Vipul Shah (Chairman), Kirit Bhansali (Vice Chairman), Nirav Bhansali (Convener, National Exhibitions), and Sabyasachi Ray (Executive Director).
Speaking at the inauguration, Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles, said, “This marks my inaugural programme for the new year in Mumbai, a city that holds great significance for the gem and jewellery industry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has consistently championed and endorsed this sector, aiming to foster its growth and expansion.
“Today, we witness the rapid growth of the lab-grown diamond industry, a testament to the relentless efforts of every member of the gem and jewellery sector. The secure transport of gems and jewellery, coupled with excellence in logistics, plays a pivotal role in this process,” he added. Indian diamond traders are poised to lead the global diamond supply chain, Goyal said.
“We are working towards creating a comprehensive ecosystem to propel the diamond business in India, positioning Mumbai as the epicentre for its growth. A dedicated 20-acre land in Mhape, Navi Mumbai, and the upcoming diamond bourse in Navi Mumbai, alongside the Surat Diamond Bourse, will further strengthen the industry's presence,” he added.
A mega project is underway at SEEPZ, with the Common Facilities Zone (CFZ) set to emerge soon. Noteworthy initiatives include the establishment of world-class training programmes for physically challenged individuals and modern facilities in SEEPZ, replacing old buildings, to create a more luxurious and contemporary centre. “I personally endorse the collaboration between Mumbai and Surat to promote the growth of the diamond industry,” Goyal said.
The Jewellery Park near Mhape, Navi Mumbai, supported by both state and Central governments, is another promising project. Efforts are underway to match the standards set by renowned international facilities, such as the one in Dubai. India, with its demographic power, talent and creativity, has the potential to compete globally in this sector.
“As we embark on this journey, our innovation and spirit will undoubtedly elevate the Indian gem and jewellery industry to new heights on the global stage,” summed up Goyal.