India Now A Player in Las Vegas

India is enjoying its largest participation ever at The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas, Bakul R. Mehta, chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, announced at a special GJEPC breakfast.

This year India has 101 booths, and 90 exhibitors—a substantial increase from 10 exhibitors in 1996.

That’s because exports have diversified from simply mass-produced product to unique designs and couture, with special lines of jewelry and collections being launched by companies for the U.S. market.

“U.S. buyers with distinctive taste have always shown interest toward Indian products,” Mehta said. “Today we can proudly say that Indian products are not just competitively priced but have great designs, too.”

The United States is India’s top export market, accounting for 28 percent of its gem and jewelry exports.

India’s gem and jewelry sector is also one of the country’s leading earners of foreign exchange, and it accounted for 17 percent of India’s total exports in 2005. It employs close to 1.3 million people across the country.

In addition, the jewelry sector is expected to grow 15 percent to 20 psercent a year.

Mehta noted that India has certain advantages: It is the world’s largest democracy with a population of 1.05 billion; it’s one of the fastest-growing economies, with its gross domestic product growing at 6 percent annually; it ranks sixth in the world for its foreign exchange reserves; and its core infrastructure growth is estimated at 5.6 percent.