Las Vegas, NV
Ms.Yancy Weinrich, Industry Vice President of JCK events
Mr.Rajiv Jain, Chairman, Gems & Jewelry Export Promotion Council of India,
Ms. Sonam Kapoor, Brand Ambassador for Gems & Jewelery Export Promotion Council
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I must at the outset thank the organizers for inviting me to inaugurate the JCK Las Vegas 2012, the premium and the most comprehensive Jewelry show in the United States. It is indeed a matter of pleasure and privilege for me to be at this important event.
I must also thank and congratulate the Gems and Jewelry Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC), India’s apex body for the promotion of Gems and Jewelry, for closely working with the Government of India for coordinating Indian participation at this event. They have been instrumental in bringing to this show the glittering and classic works of Indian diamond and gold jewelry that you see displayed. At the ‘India Pavilion’ at the JCK 2012, sixty five leading Indian exporters are show casing works that incorporate a seamless blend of the best international quality and workmanship with Indian talent and design in jewelry making. At JCK 2012, GJEPC is also displaying a ‘Brand India’ product gallery, which is a presentation of the best jewelry from India. Indeed, GJEPC has played a key role in making India a world leader in diamonds and gemstones and studded jewelry, as also gold and silver jewelry.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Jewelry, both gold and diamond, forms an intrinsic part of India's culture and heritage. History is adorned with references to the great diamonds of India. Many of you may remember the very popular "Song of India" by the Russian composer Rimsky Korsakov and it's memorable opening lines which said:
"Thy hidden gems are rich beyond all measure Unnumbered are the pearls thy oceans treasure Oh wondrous land! Oh land of India!"
You will witness a glimpse of that wondrous, incredible India at the India Show later this evening. While we are proud of our tradition in jewelry making and design, we have also kept pace with the latest in sophisticated world class manufacturing in this field. I am pleased to note that the industry in India has responded well to global contemporary market trends and to the evolving demand for new designs and products including couture jewelry.
Structurally, the Indian industry today caters to all segments of the domestic and international market including diamond and diamond jewelry; gold jewelry; precious gems stones and now increasingly silver and fashion jewelry. India has emerged as the world’s largest manufacturing centre of cut and polished diamonds. We contribute about 85% of the world’s supply in volume of such diamonds. Eleven out of every 12 diamonds set in jewelry world-wide are processed in India. We are also the third largest consumer of polished diamonds. With strong efforts of the Government of India and other stakeholders, the Indian gems and jewelry sector that currently pegs at around US$36 billion, is poised to record a compound annual growth of approximately 13%.
I must also note that intra-industry trade in diamonds is an important contributor to India-US commercial engagement today. Indian exports of diamond and diamond jewelry to the US touched US$ 8 billion in 2011, whereas the US exported US$4.6 billion worth of diamonds to India during the same period. This trade therefore contributes significantly to the growing trade and economic partnership between our two countries.
Today, the gem and jewelry industry is a key contributor to the growth of the Indian economy, and we are proud of it's stellar achievements in promoting and raising India's profile on the global stage.
I am confident that JCK Las Vegas 2012 will open a new growth path for stronger commercial links between Indian suppliers of diamond and gold jewelry, and US and other international buyers.
With these words, let me once again thank the organizers for inviting me to this event. I am sure everybody here will be deeply impressed by the radiance of the jewels on display. I wish the best for this Show and for its resounding and glittering success. It is now my pleasure to declare JCK, Las Vegas, 2012 open.