The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC), the apex trade organization dedicated to promoting Indian gem and jewellery exports worldwide, hosted a historic event - "Jewels UnBounded - a one-of-a-kind showcase in Hong Kong on the evening of September 21, 2023. The event showcased India's rich and diverse range of gemstones, jewellery, and textiles to the discerning buyers from across Asia, highlighting the unique strengths in product engineering, design innovation, and manufacturing expertise within both the gems and jewellery and textiles sectors.
Supported by Consulate General of India, Hong Kong, and Department of Commerce, Government of India, this scintillating event, Jewels Unbounded, was timed concurrently with the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, a significant industry gathering that attracts buyers from the entire spectrum of Asia, all seeking to acquire the finest gems and jewellery offerings. Associate partner for the GJEPC’s Jewels UnBounded was ENTICE by KGK.
The event was graced by distinguished guests, including H.E. Mr. Pradeep Kumar Rawat, the Ambassador of India to the People's Republic of China, accompanied by Mrs. Shruti Rawat, as well as Satwant Khanalia, serving as the Consul General at the Consulate General of India in Hong Kong, Kent Wong, the Managing Director of Chow Tai Fook. Additionally, R. Arulanandan, the Director of the Department of Commerce, Government of India, joined the gathering, along with Vipul Shah, the Chairman of GJEPC, Kirit Bhansali, Vice Chairman of GJEPC, and Sabyasachi Ray, the Executive Director of GJEPC.
H.E. Pradeep Kumar Rawat (Ambassador of India for People's Republic of China), said, “Gems & jewels are a wonderful storehouse of value and good investment - there is no other asset-class that can store so much unparalleled value. They are also a storehouse of memories given as legacy by our family members and symbolize relationships. Imagine the power of such gem & jewellery treasures in India, which is one of the most ancient civilizations of the world. As the mother of democracy, India is a responsible civilisation and advocates sustainability and fraternity as encapsulated in the term ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ meaning ‘the World Is One Family’. Deepen your engagement with India through gem & jewellery and start the journey with new thought and new vigour."
Satwant Khanalia, the Consul General at the Consulate General of India in Hong Kong said, “I would like to commend the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India for the aptly timed show organised with the support of the Department of Commerce, Govt. of India, that shines a spotlight on the strengths of the Indian sectors of Gems and Jewellery and haute couture. It is no coincidence that diamonds, gems and jewellery constitute 90% of India’s commodity exports to Hong Kong, which functions as the hub for further re-exports in this region. Be it natural or lab grown diamonds, precious or semi-precious stones, gold or silver jewellery, India is a world leader in all. Indian haute couture showcasing our tie & dye techniques, kantha, applique, ikat, phulkari, chikankari and countless weaves and styles, are unparalleled in beauty and rich in history. Today’s show combines the best of both these worlds, and I am confident this will raise the profile of India in the gems and jewellery and fashion sectors.”
Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, added, “The gem and jewellery trade between India and Hong Kong has remained robust, culminating in a total trade value of USD 15.56 billion in 2022. For India, Hong Kong has been the second largest gem and jewellery export destination accounting for USD 8.63 billion in 2022. Cut and polished diamonds, with an export value of USD 5.15 billion, form a significant portion of this trade. Alongside, we see the export of silver jewellery, gold jewellery, coloured gemstones, and polished lab-grown diamonds gaining prominence.
“Hong Kong has primarily been a market for loose diamond for India. However, the introduction of "Jewels Unbounded" signifies a significant shift in our approach. This event is a concerted effort to spotlight India's evolving capabilities in designing and manufacturing fine jewellery specially for this part of the world. India can offer a diverse range of cutting-edge products meticulously tailored to meet the discerning tastes and specific requirements of the Asian markets.”
R. Arulanandan, Director, Department of Commerce, Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, said, “Hong Kong is India’s second-biggest market for gems & jewellery exports. UnBounded Jewels is a testament to India’s superlative jewellery craftsmanship skills and gem-cutting expertise, that will showcase India’s mastery in the gem & jewellery domain at a spectacular jewellery and fashion show. The Govt. will continue to facilitate exporters by providing a conducive business environment. After the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), the Govt. is also negotiating FTAs with the UK, EU, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Israel, and Southern African Customs Union (SAU). GJEPC has done a commendable job since its inception, taking the Indian gem & jewellery industry to become one of the top exporters in the world. Today, we are the preferred destination for the world when it comes to sourcing of gems & jewellery.”
Kent Wong, MD, Chow Tai Fook, said, “It's a great honour for me to be your guest this evening. I express my heartfelt gratitude to GJEPC and the Consul General of India in Hong Kong for extending an invitation to the prestigious event. India has undoubtedly played a significant role in the gem and jewellery industry globally and GJEPC is actively cultivating connections with international markets. Hong Kong is the world's main financial hub and is, recognised for its free trade policy and no trade barriers. I firmly believe that together we possess the potential to generate greater success.”
GJEPC’s global brand ambassador Manushi Chillar, former Miss World, said, “Jewels UnBounded is a highlight of the artistry, creativity, diversity & modernity that define India’s jewellery industry. Through Jewels Unbounded, we are celebrating the magical union of fashion and jewellery. Every piece of jewellery reflects the skill and creativity of its maker. But beyond that, every piece carries with it a sense of tradition, culture, and history that connects us all. At GJEPC, we would like to say 'If it can’t be made anywhere, it can be Made in India', which is just another way of saying that 'India remains a land of limitless opportunity, and exciting future possibilities'.”
India is a treasure trove of unique designs and craftsmanship as well as also a reliable and strategic business partner. The Indian industry has embraced technological advancements, incorporating automation, innovative designs, and sustainable practices. The audience for Jewels UnBounded show included gem & jewellery buyers visiting the show from prime markets of South East Asia; traders, best of business and corporate executives from Hong Kong; associations, Chambers of Commerce, media representatives, Consul Generals and members of the Consular Corps, HNIs making it a fascinating platform for networking and collaboration.
Apart from this, India was also part of the Hong Kong show. The India Pavilion proudly showcased the talent and skill of the Indian exhibitors and artisans. India Pavilion featured 149 booths spread over 1452 sqm, occupied by 115 exhibitors showcasing a wide array of jewellery spread over two venues of the HKCEC and Asiaworld expo.
India's gems and jewellery sector has been a major contributor to the country's Foreign Exchange Earnings. The Government of India views the sector as a thrust area for export promotion. The Indian government presently allows 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector through the automatic route. In 2022-23, the Gem & Jewellery sector accounted for 8.4% or $38.1 billion of India’s total merchandise exports which stood at $450.95 billion.
At the 40th edition of the Jewellery World Awards (JWA) held in Hong Kong, a momentous occasion unfolded as Vipul Shah, Chairman of the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), was bestowed with the prestigious 'Extraordinary 40' accolade. This recognition is a celebration of Vipul Shah's exceptional leadership and dedication to establishing India as a premier destination for the export of Gems & Jewellery.