Covid-19: Gems, jewellery industry showed resilience during difficult times

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The gems and jewellery industry has shown resilience through these testing times and used technology to showcase the intrinsically created pieces to buyers across the globe on the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) Virtual platform, Union minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.

“In fact, this environment of technology to reach customers all across the world shows the resilience of Indian industry and the government to serve customers, particularly with the festival season round the corner, both in India and across the world,” Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said at the inaugural ceremony of the five-day IIJS Virtual organised by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

Once again the industry has proven to the world that when forced to face any adversity, it performs much better, he added.

“This will demonstrate to the world that we are a trusted partner or trusted supplier, someone that you can engage with and enjoy the benefits, the spirit of success, the spirit of fighting adversity,” Goyal noted.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who was also present on the occasion, assured support to the gems and jewellery industry to make Mumbai a jewellery and diamond trading hub.

“Jewellery is not only for fashion but also it is our culture and tradition, which is diverse and rich. On this occasion I welcome the industry to come together with us to make the state the global jewellery and diamond trading hub,” the chief minister said.

He said the government wants to join hands with the industry to set up an institute for jewellery designing and trading in Mumbai.

“We are already setting up a jewellery park but we can further explore what else can be done to further enhance the institution and the government will give all support for this. But I have one condition for this, that is to create employment opportunities for the people of Maharashtra,” Thackeray added.

GJEPC chairman Colin Shah stated that manufacturing activities have been back to 89 per cent in accordance with all safe measures as per the government guidelines.

“We are extremely optimistic that in the third and fourth quarters, with orders coming in from the US, Hong Kong, the Middle East and other Asian countries, we slowly and surely will get back to the pre-Covid level, and even on the path of recovery,” he said.

Shah said the council has embarked on several virtual buyer-seller platforms to propel trade and boost exports.

“We organised …gold and diamond buyer-seller meet in September, which was extremely successful, there was actual business which was transacted on this platform. In total, we plan to do 10 such virtual buyer-seller meets in the next couple of months,” he added.

GJEPC vice chairman Vipul Shah said Covid-19 is an unprecedented situation that was never faced before and collectively, the gems and jewellery industry has shown that challenge is adding value to the situation.

“The industry is making optimum use of digital means to deal on the day to day basis, or the industry has been quick to add up to the new normal. The central government and the state governments have played a crucial role in helping the industry to cope with the situation,” he added.

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