Tuesday, June 4, 2024
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GJEPC Foresees Surge in Gem & Jewellery Exports Following India’s Trade Pact with EFTA

India’s Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is poised to catalyze a substantial rise in gem and jewellery exports, with projections indicating a tripling of exports from the current USD 335 million to USD 1 billion in the near future.

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Under the TEPA, customs duties on the entirety of chapter 71 (Gem and Jewellery products) have been abolished, granting Indian exporters of gem and jewellery duty-free access to all EFTA countries, including Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.

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The accord, constituting part of the broader India-EFTA $100 billion Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signals significant potential and lays the groundwork for further and expanded FTAs with various European nations.

Vipul Shah, Chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), expressed appreciation to the Government of India, particularly Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, for heeding GJEPC’s recommendations in shaping the TEPA. Shah remarked, “The $100 billion bilateral trade pact has unlocked vast opportunities for Indian gem and jewellery manufacturers to diversify their export horizons in the EFTA region. I am confident that gem and jewellery exports to EFTA nations will escalate from US$335 million to at least US$1 billion in the foreseeable future.”

GJEPC played an instrumental role in collaborating with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry during the TEPA negotiations, advocating for strategic HS line-wise recommendations aligned with the industry’s best interests.

Despite EFTA’s substantial imports of finished gem and jewellery products, standing at US$12.3 billion, India’s exports to the bloc amount to a modest US$335 million, representing a mere 2.7% share. This underscores the vast potential for Indian manufacturers and exporters to tap into untapped EFTA markets.

Key relaxations afforded to EFTA in the gem and jewellery sector include:

Duty-free imports of various products from EFTA countries over a stipulated period.

Reduction of customs duty on select products, gradually to be phased out over five years.

Noteworthy reduction of duty on precious metal gold imports from EFTA countries.

These relaxations align with Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) norms and are deemed feasible for facilitating smoother trade relations between India and EFTA.

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