A K Joseph, PTI
Beijing: India is making a determined bid to replace Belgium as the centre of the world’s diamond trading, a senior industry official said here.
“Belgium is considered the centre of world’s diamond trading industry. We are trying to make India the centre of world trading in jems and jewellery,” Vice Chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Vasant Mehta told PTI here.
Mehta, who led an Indian industry delegation to China, said, “India has really opened up and the facilities are very good. Moreover, the government is offering good support”.
“We are keen to take the role out of Belgium,” he said, adding that it is not a very difficult task as even in Antwerp, Belgium, the top 10 are Indian companies owned by Indian NRIs who have settled there.
“We have really captured the world market with our manufacturing abilities. So, why not India become the centre of trading in diamonds?,” he added.
Mehta also confirmed that Dubai is also trying to become the centre of global jems and jewellery trading.
Dubai is offering tax advantages to the industry. However, India has several advantages, he said citing the big manufacturing base, skilled workers, growing market as well as government support.
The government has reduced the import duty on polished diamonds from 5% to 3% this year.
“We are hoping that the duty will come down to zero in another year or so,” he said, noting that the revenue loss would be compensated by the increasing job opportunities and foreign exchange coming through the business.