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DGFT calls for e-commerce boost to transform India into a global leader in gold jewellery exports

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NEW DELHI : The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has urged the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council to popularise jewellery exports through e-commerce and to position India as a top supplier, design creator and value-adding hub for gold jewellery.

Santosh Kumar Sarangi, Director General of DGFT said, “India stands as one of the largest buyers of gold globally, showcasing considerable buying power that can potentially influence the streamlining of gold prices and availability. Recognising the fragmented nature of gold demand in India, spanning from small to large jewellers and varying from kilograms to tons, there’s a pressing need for streamlining exports. With immense potential, the aim should be to become the foremost exporter globally. Drawing a parallel with Switzerland, we need champions in India investing in creative designs catering to Western tastes.”

Collaboration between the Department of Commerce, GJEPC, and leading brands is essential to formulate a robust branding strategy positioning India as a top supplier and value-added provider of gold jewellery”, said Mr. Sarangi at India Gold & Jewellery Summit, held on January 23 and 24.

Talking about e-commerce, Mr. Sarangi said, “The potential of e-commerce in cross-border transactions is vast, with estimates predicting a rise to 2 trillion dollars by 2030. To encourage this platform, the consignment value for e-commerce exports is increased to Rs 10 lakh. GJEPC is urged to organize outreach programs in interior regions to facilitate understanding and adoption of e-commerce platforms.”

R. Arulanandan, Director, Department of Commerce, Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry, said, India faces challenges as a consuming nation heavily reliant on imports, particularly of bullion and dore gold. “The complexities of exporting 24-karat gold further add to our concerns, including regulatory issues. The collaboration between the World Gold Council and GJEPC, along with other stakeholders, is a positive step in prompting collective reflection.”

Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “The India Gold & Jewellery Summit aims is to create a dialogue between the policy makers and the industry to help create policies for growth of trade and exports from India’s gem and jewellery sector. This year’s Summit is significant due to key policy initiatives taken by the Government such as signing of India UAE CEPA and India Australia ECTA; successful implementation of Hallmarking and HUID policy; a very successful review of India by FATF and a host of other initiatives. We aim to reach a cumulative gem and jewellery export value of USD 75 billion by 2030. Specifically, we have set a target for gold jewellery alone to achieve USD 25 billion by 2030.”

“The gold industry plays a significant role in shaping our economic landscape. India has made remarkable strides, creating a dynamic ecosystem with vast potential for growth. This includes jewellery manufacturing units, retailers, exporters, refiners, gold exchange, skill development institutes, and promotional bodies such as GJEPC, which showcase and create markets for India-made jewellery across the world,” said Mr Shah.

Somasundaram PR, Regional CEO, India, World Gold Council (WGC), said“Gold has touched its lifetime high amidst very high interest rates and booming stock markets. Central banks bought lots of gold last year and they continue to stock up on gold lifetime high prices. India will see a huge rebound in gold demand as prosperity rises and as organized retail grows significantly. We got to be prepared for a robust market. We shall publicly unveil a self-regulatory body soon and we require support from apex trade bodies such as GJEPC and other industry constituents.”

Shah added, “GJEPC recently launched a SOP book for the Gold Jewellery Industry, which sets out general compliances required to be undertaken by the gold jewellery industry from the perspective of Customs Law, Foreign Trade Policy; Goods and Services Tax, Income Tax and Hallmarking.”

Talking about the India-UAE CEPA, Shah added, “The gold industry, especially, has been benefited by India-UAE CEPA which was championed by our Commerce Minister. To take full advantage of CEPA we have also set up India Jewellery Exposition Centre in Dubai. India’s exports of plain gold jewellery to UAE surged by 47% during April – November 2023.

In 2022, the global exports of gold jewellery reached USD 113.19 billion, with India contributing significantly by accounting for USD 9.22 billion or 8.10% of this total. India secured its position as the 4th largest exporter of gold jewellery, following major players such as China, UAE and Switzerland.

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