(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Indian exports of gems and jewellery to Saudi Arabia total 6 million, but these do not reflect the real figure, according to Haresh Zaveri, convener of the India International Jewellery Show, or IIJS, sub-committee, who led a three member delegation of the Indian Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, or GJEPC.
The GJEPC concluded its two-day visit to Jeddah and left for Algeria and Morocco, with a sojourn to Libya and Lebanon soon to follow.
Zaveri said that Saudi Arabia buys almost 50 times more gems and jewellery products produced in India from Dubai because of convenience and proximity.
Out of total worldwide exports of 28.41 billion in 2009-2010, the UAE accounts for 43 per cent. It has replaced the United States as number one. We are making efforts for direct exports to the Kingdom, Zaveri told Khaleej Times before a presentation at the Radisson Hotel.
The other members of the delegation were GJEPC Director for Eastern Region Shantanu Rajguru and Resident Coordinator for the Middle East Ramesh Vora.
Zaveri said that it was his third visit with the delegation. The first was seven years ago and the second was in 2005.
He said the Kingdom is opening up, with positive changes taking place. We have come to understand the Saudi Arabian market better and know the taste very well, the kind of designs they accept, forms and style sells here, he said.
He explained that the GJEPC is an apex body of the trade in India. Set up in 1966 by the Indian ministry of commerce and industry, it is a non-profit organisation with 6,300 members. The Councils primary objective is to promote and enhance exports of gems and jewellery from India.
Zaveri said the basic purpose of the visit was to extend the Indian hand of friendship to the people and the business community in the gems and jewellery sector here, and to promote the 27th edition of IIJS wich will be taking place in Mumbai from August 19 to 23.
The five-day show, GJEPCs flagship trade event, will showcase the entire industry. With exhibitors numbering more than 800 companies and 1,700 booths, it is the second largest in the world.
The India International Jewellery Week, on the other hand, will be held in Mumbai from August 15 to 19 for first time in India. It is second in the world after London, which is on a smaller scale.
Zaveri said that he has been approached regarding training. We have institutes under the Councils umbrella in Mumbai, Delhi, Surat and Jaipur, where we teach jewellery manufacturing, cutting of diamond and gemstones, diamond polishing, and gems identification, he said.
We would be more than happy to train young boys and girls. We always believe that youth is the future of every country.