IIJS 2012 Opens in Mumbai

The 29th edition of the India International Jewellery Show kicked off Aug. 23 at the Bombay Exhibition Center in Mumbai with the fanfare and celebratory spirit befitting IIJS and its presenter, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India.

The opening celebration featured a lamp-lighting ceremony, as well as a couple alternatingly rousing and serious-minded speeches. GJEPC chair Rajiv Jain boasted of this year’s across-the-board increase in numbers—jewelry retailers from 722 Indian cities, visitors from 69 countries, and buyer delegations from 21 countries (up from 702, 54, and 13, respectively, in 2011), and proudly referred to the show as “a giant monolith which is literally driving the world’s demand for gems and jewelry today.”

GJEPC chair Rajiv Jain and Shri Anand Sharma, India’s minister of commerce and industry, at the opening-day lamp-lighting ceremony

Jain also made a public plea for governmental assistance in establishing a state-of-the-art convention center in Mumbai. “There are more than 500 companies in the waiting list whom we cannot accommodate at IIJS due to shortage of space,” he continued. “We also have to put Herculean effort to make [this venue] look world-class.”

The raising of the Indian flag

For his part, honorable Shri Anand Sharma, India’s minister of commerce and industry, said he was “in talks with the state government” about a new facility, and hoped it would be “created very shortly.” He also vowed to work to raise India’s profile in the international business world, with hopes of attracting more investors to its already-booming gem and jewelry industry. (For fiscal year 2011–12, exports totaled $42.8 billion.) “We will improve communication of our policies to potential investors,” he said. “The aim will be to remove the perceived difficulties in doing business in India.”

Currently doing business at IIJS (aka the India Show): 852 exhibitors and 1,700 booths. The event runs through Aug. 27.