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India is of central importance to De Beers : CEO Bruce Cleaver

Times of India:  August, 2016

Surat: Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, said that India is one of the world's major markets for consumer sales of diamond jewellery and it has perhaps more growth opportunity than anywhere else in the world.

Cleaver, who was the chief guest at the five-days long 33rd edition of India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), organized by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) at Mumbai on Thursday, said, "India is of central importance to De Beers' future and is at the very heart of the diamond pipeline"

Acknowledging that India was the world's first known source of diamonds, and has played a central role in the industry's history, Mr Cleaver noted that: "India represents the heartbeat of the industry's midstream sector, with the great majority of the world's cutting and polishing taking place here".

On this occasion, GJEPC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with De Beers to undertake promotional activities to drive consumer demand for diamond jewellery in India. The marketing campaign will be run during the key selling season, and the funding will be agreed by both GJEPC and De Beers.

Hailed as one of the largest gem and jewellery trade shows in Asia, IIJS is a five-day B2B event and a great platform that allows the global gem and jewellery industry an excellent business opportunity to explore the various multi-faceted aspects of the Indian gem and industry.

The IIJS has 1,200 exhibitors, over 2,000 booths, 50,000 sq. ft., over 35,000 visitors from more than 800 Indian cities and towns and 80 countries around the world.

Chairman of GJEPC, Praveenshankar Pandya, said, "At IIJS 2016, we are hoping to increase the transacted business by atleast 15% over and above that generated at IIJS 2015."

Manoj Dwivedi, joint secretary, Union ministry ofcommerce, government of India, who inaugurated IIJS said, "The most significant reform after the 1991 liberalisation - GST has become a reality and the key is seamless implementation. One country, one tax, one market will infuse new energy into the economy and growth will materialize. The Skill Council of India has targeted to train 5 million workers and upgrade skills. The other key initiative is to geographically map, tag and brand the unique jewellery of different parts of the country - be it jewellery from South or North East or Jaipur - to highlight the craftsmanship of that particular area."