India processes around 90% of the world's supply of rough diamonds.
Faced with a sharp decline in exports owing to removal from the European Union's preferential list, Indian jewellers plan to woo buyers by introducing exclusive hand-crafted designs into the market.
In May, the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council would be organising a visit of around three dozen manufacturers and exporters to the EU to help attract customers. Organisers would be targeting importers from Britain, France, Belgium and Germany.
"We plan to lead an Indian contingent with over three dozen leading jewellery manufacturers and exporters, in a first of its kind event in Antwerp from May 7 to May 9. The objective is to promote Indian jewellery in the EU," said a senior GJEPC official.
Gems and jewellery as a category has been removed from EU's list of Generalised System of Preferences that provides certain duty incentives for certain items exported to Europe. In the case of precious ornaments, European importers could avail a cess ranging between 2% and 2.5%.
Provided by developed countries for promotion of trade and industry to developing countries, GSP is a unilateral tariff preference scheme. It, however, also has a natural exclusion (graduation, in trade parlance) after achieving 17.5 per cent of total import of goods in a category, in the EU.
The latest EU list says there has been a natural graduation of gems and jewellery export from India. In 2015-16, ornament exports were $665.7 million to the EU, about 21 per cent of our total export to that region and 1.7 per cent of India's overall export of gems and jewellery.
India's net export of gems and jewellery has declined over the past four years to about $32 billion during 2015-16 from a peak of $43.2 billion during 2011-12.
Shipment of precious ornaments to the region was worth $3.2 billion during 2015-16 as against $3.4 billion a couple of years ago. Around 80 per cent of India's export in this segment constitutes coloured gemstones, cut and polished diamonds.
At present, India processes around 90 per cent of the world's supply of rough diamonds.