The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC) pulled off a spectacular showcase of India’s finest gems, jewellery, and textiles at the exclusive event, Jewels UnBounded, held in Hong Kong on September 21, 2023. With former Miss World Manushi Chhillar as the showstopper, this event demonstrated the brilliance of Indian craftsmanship and design innovation to an elite audience of Asian buyers.
The event coincided with the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, one of Asia’s premier gatherings for industry professionals seeking the best in gems and jewellery. The Consulate General of India in Hong Kong and the Department of Commerce, Government of India, supported this grand event, which also featured ENTICE by KGK as an associate partner.
Distinguished guests, including H.E. Pradeep Kumar Rawat, the ambassador of India to the People’s Republic of China, and Satwant Khanalia, the consul general at the Consulate General of India in Hong Kong, graced the event. They were joined by industry leaders like Kent Wong, the managing director of Chow Tai Fook, and R. Arulanandan, the director of the Department of Commerce, Government of India. Key figures from GJEPC, including Vipul Shah, chairman, Kirit Bhansali, vice chairman, and Sabyasachi Ray, executive director, were also present.
H.E. Pradeep Kumar Rawat emphasised the enduring value of gems and jewellery, symbolising financial worth and cherished memories and relationships. He highlighted India’s rich history and commitment to sustainability and global fraternity, encapsulated in the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘the World Is One Family.’
Satwant Khanalia commended GJEPC for showcasing India’s strengths in gems, jewellery, and haute couture. She noted that diamonds, gems, and jewellery constitute a significant portion of India’s commodity exports to Hong Kong, making India a world leader in these sectors. She also praised India’s haute couture, showcasing techniques and styles unmatched in beauty and historical significance.
Vipul Shah, chairman of GJEPC, highlighted the robust trade relationship between India and Hong Kong in the gems and jewellery sector, with a trade value of USD 15.56 billion in 2022. He mentioned the growing prominence of cut and polished diamonds, silver jewellery, gold jewellery, coloured gemstones, and polished lab-grown diamonds in this trade. Jewels UnBounded marked a significant shift, emphasising India’s evolving capabilities in designing and manufacturing fine jewellery tailored for the Asian markets.
R. Arulanandan, director of the Department of Commerce, Government of India, reiterated the importance of Hong Kong as India’s second-largest market for gems and jewellery exports. He applauded GJEPC for its role in elevating India’s gem and jewellery industry to become a top global exporter and mentioned ongoing negotiations for Free Trade Agreements with several countries.
Kent Wong, managing director of Chow Tai Fook, recognised India’s significant role in the global gem and jewellery industry. He highlighted the potential for mutual success through collaboration between India and Hong Kong.
Manushi Chhillar, GJEPC’s global brand ambassador and former Miss World, celebrated the fusion of fashion and jewellery at Jewels UnBounded. She emphasised that each piece of jewellery represents not only the skill and creativity of its maker but also a connection to tradition, culture, and history. She reiterated India’s limitless potential in both fashion and jewellery.
The event also featured the India Pavilion, showcasing the talent of Indian exhibitors and artisans. India’s gems and jewellery sector has been a major contributor to the country’s foreign exchange earnings, accounting for 8.4 percent of India’s total merchandise exports in 2022-23.
In recognition, Vipul Shah, chairman of GJEPC, received the prestigious Extraordinary 40 accolade at the 40th edition of the Jewellery World Awards (JWA) held in Hong Kong. This award celebrates Shah’s exceptional leadership in establishing India as a premier destination for the export of gems and jewellery.