The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Praveen Shankar Pandya told the Press Trust of India he expects gem and jewellery exports to likely witness growth of about 10 percent this fiscal year due to increasing demand in the US and Europe. "We are seeing the markets improve slowly, especially US and Europe to some extent. Looking at the growth in demand in these markets, we are expecting close to 10 per cent growth in the gems and jewellery exports led by polished diamonds," said Pandya. According to government data, total exports witnessed 28.26 percent growth during April-December 2016. According to GJEPC data, for the fiscal year thus far (nine months from April-December), polished exports have climbed 13% to $16.9 billion from $14.9 billion in 2015.
Pandya said all eyes are on US President Donald Trump, who is expected to boost the American economy. "When the economy improves, there are more jobs and a rise in demand for jewellery. It is already a big market, which is expected to be even bigger." He said exporters are also watching what Trump does with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). "If NAFTA is abrogated, the exports will increase. However, the negotiations will have to be done carefully," he added. On Europe, Pandya said the situation is improving but the US dollar and Euro parity have made things more competitive. On exploring new markets, Pandya said GJEPC will strive to strengthen the existing markets and also explore new ones. "We are making efforts to strengthen our strong markets like US, Europe. However, we also continue to explore new export destinations for the sector that will earn revenue for the country. We are looking at markets like Korea and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.".