Gujarat investor meet to focus on jewellery, textile sectors

Wednesday, 24 September 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government said Tuesday it would focus on the state's vast potential in gems and jewellery, textile and garment industries at a three-day global investors' meet to be held here beginning Sunday.

"Gujarat has inherent strength in these sectors. Gujarat accounts for nearly 80 percent of diamonds processed in India and 90 percent of these are processed in and around Surat alone," said D. Rajgopal, principal secretary to the government.

"The global focus on Surat will be boost the industry further," he told a press conference here.

The first part of the Vibrant Gujarat meet will be held here from September 28 to September 30, while Surat, 290 km from Ahmedabad, will host the second leg of the convention from September 30 to October 2.

Rajgopal said while the Ahmedabad segment will focus on port, gas and petroleum, infrastructure, education, tourism, and mines and minerals, discussions would revolve around gems and jewellery, and textile in Surat.

Gujarat accounts for 12 percent of the total textile exports of the country and it has contributed in a big way in making the state one of the leading industrialised states in India.

A quarter of the small-scale industrial units registered in the state are from textile sector alone and they contribute 23 percent of the state's gross domestic product, Rajgopal pointed out.

Leading fabric and garment manufacturers like Reliance Industries, Arvind Mills, Ashima, Indo Rama, Grasim Industries, and Madura Garments are likely to showcase their expertise during the meet.

Several interactive sessions have been scheduled where representatives of the industry majors would exchange notes with potential investors from all across the country and abroad.

"The theme of the event is profit by moving up the value chain to encourage value addition in the traditional textile industry of the state," said state chief secretary P.K. Lahiri.

"One of the major aims of the event is to discuss the strength of Gujarat as a manufacturing hub for a wide range of fabrics, which is the prime raw material for manufacturing garments.

"The various initiatives and policy measures would come up for discussion specifically to strengthen this sector and help it add value to the products," he added.

On attracting investors in the gems and jewellery sector, Lahiri said the state government would highlight Gujarat's potential in offering low cost skilled labour, and easy availability of institutional and bank finance.

The government would also focus on relaxed official rules and regulations. While Surat accounts for about 30 percent of world diamond trade, India has only one percent share of the $105-billion world jewellery market.

The government has also decided to set up a gems and jewellery park JewelMart in Surat that will focus on operational integration of Surat from a diamond hub to gems and jewellery hub in India.

"Through JewelMart we hope to attract investment and also help the existing industry move its products up the value chain," said Lahiri.

Source: IANS
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