Gem & Jewellery industry pledges to enhance Trust, Transparency, Sustainability, Traceability & Responsible Sourcing thru’ self-regulation
Mr. Damien Cody, President, ICA; Mr. R. Arulanandan, Director, Department of Commerce, Govt. of India; Mr. Pramod Agarwal, Vice President, India, CIBJO and Chairman, NGJCI; Mr. Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Ms. Feriel Zerouki, President, WDC; Mr. Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO President; Mr. Yoram Dvash, President, WFDB; Mr. Kirit Bhansali, Vice Chairman, GJEPC
National, 3rd October 2023: The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) held its annual Congress for the first time in Jaipur at Fairmont, Jaipur. The Congress is being organised from 3rd to 5th October. Pre-Congress meetings were held on 1st and 2nd October. The 2023 Congress is being hosted by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and the National Gem & Jewellery Council of India (NGJCI) supported by Ministry of Commerce and Industry and MSME Ministry, Govt. of India.
The inaugural session was graced by Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, (shared a virtual message); Mr. Gaetano Cavalieri, President, CIBJO; Mr. Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Mr. Pramod Kumar Agarwal, Vice President, India, CIBJO and Chairman, NGJCI; Mr. R. Arulanandan, Director, Department of Commerce, Govt. of India; Ms. Feriel Zerouki, President, World Diamond Council (WDC); Mr. Yoram Dvash, President, World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB); Mr. Damien Cody, President, International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA).
CIBJO Congresses serve as the official gathering place for the World Jewellery Confederation’s Assembly of Delegates, and are also the venue for the annual meetings of CIBJO’s sectoral commissions, where amendments can be introduced to the organisation’s definitive directories of international industry standards for diamonds, coloured stones, pearls, gem labs, precious metals, coral and responsible sourcing, known as the Blue Books.
Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, said, “CIBJO is an event where gems of the sparkling world unite. In the spirit of Bharat's ancient tradition Athithi Devo Bhavo, I request you to enjoy hospitality of the Pink City while conducting business engagements. This event marks a historic moment as it is the first time that CIBJO Congress is being held on Indian soil. The CIBJO Congress taking place in Jaipur is more than just a location. Hosting the CIBJO Congress here is a testimony to the tremendous potential that India holds not only as a market but as a global manufacturing hub. The G20 summit signifies India's emergence as a global leader. Jaipur is a symbol of the vibrant spirit of artisans and rich history of gems & jewellery industry, which Jaipur represents. The industry has the power and promise to realise the goal of local goes global. The gem & jewellery sector has a key player to India's economy contributing significantly to India's merchandising exports annually and employing nearly 5 million people. Hon. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's vision is to make India No. 1 in the gem & jewellery global business with Make in India products as well as focussing on the design aspects. India is a destination for jewellery as well as for creativity, ideas and progress. India has always been known as the land of gems & jewels - intricate workmanship and sheer artistry of our jewellery creations is unparalleled. India's legacy in this industry dates back to centuries as continues to evolve embracing modern trends and technology while honouring our traditional roots. Our lab grown industry is rising and championing sustainability at every step of the way. Surat Diamond Bourse, the world's largest building, will become the hub of all diamond trading activity. As we move forward, let us explore the possibility for collaboration and sustainable practices and pave the way for a brighter future for gem & jewellery industry. Together we can ensure that CIBJO Congress marks the beginning of a new era of prosperity and inclusivity for the global jewellery and gemstone community. I hope this event will give you an opportunity to engage and expand. May this event be the spark that ignites a brilliant future for all of us.”
Mr. Gaetano Cavalieri, President, CIBJO, said in his welcome address, “CIBJO is the oldest international jewellery association in the world and will celebrate 100 years in Year 2026. CIBJO Congress is being held again after almost 4 years (2019 CIBJO Congress at Bahrain) and the world and industry has changed considerably. The experience of visiting India is overwhelming as India is a country which excites all the senses. The pandemic was an unimaginable yet transformative event; but the trade has now adapted to the new circumstances showing its inherent resilience. Business models of fine jewellery players are evolving rapidly. G7 countries, which accounted for half of all jewellery sales, will be introducing new norms and standards with respect to traceability, trust and transparency. CIBJO is a trusted organisation, which protects interests of members. It prescribes policy framework to enable and empower industry to put in place tools to operate within law to remain as transparent, honest, sustainable and responsible. We shall discuss and review all matters of international relevance for the trade. However, of 17 sustainable goals of the UN - Partnership is the most important one.”
Mr. Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “Jaipur is a fitting location for CIBJO Congress as it is a living, breathing testament to the craft and artistry that our industry possesses. As a global leader, India continues to shape the gem and jewellery landscape, serving as both a beacon of time-honoured craftsmanship and a hub for innovation. India is the only beacon of hope as far as jewellery demand goes. Befitting its leadership position in processing of diamonds and gemstones like emerald and tanzanite, India adheres to ethical sourcing practices as well as contributes to the development of industry standards. The Kimberley Process Source protocol for rough diamonds which started based on demand from consumers, is going through a reform cycle and we are committed to support such reform. Consumer’s confidence should be protected at any cost. So, our Government is also discussing with G7 countries the new measures for segregation of diamonds that they are demanding from the trade based on current geopolitical situation. The 2023 CIBJO Congress will also address the pressing issues and opportunities that define our industry.”
Mr. Pramod Kumar Agarwal, Vice President, India, CIBJO and Chairman, NGJCI, said, “We are glad that more than 135 overseas delegates, including representatives of some of the top global jewellery brands are attending the CIBJO Congress. A few of them must have come to Jaipur for the first time. Today, we estimate that our industry employs around 2 lakh skilled individuals in and around Jaipur, carrying on a tradition of enamelling and gem-cutting that has stood the test of time. The city of Jaipur is playing a very important role in Coloured Gemstones and Jewellery. There are two Gems & Jewellery Special Economic Zones, one Domestic Tariff Zone of Gems & Jewellery, a world class training institute, IIGJ, a Gem Certification Laboratory and Exhibition and Convention Centre, all located are at one place. Jewellers Association, Jaipur and GJEPC will be developing the largest gem bourse in the world in Jaipur, India. The delegates at CIBJO Congress can exchange the views with each other and explore the possibility of future business. CIBJO is actively working on Sustainable Development Goals, it is in support of Supply Chain Traceability and a policy of Accurate Product Disclosure, which is need of the hour too.”
Mr. R. Arulanandan, the Director of the Department of Commerce, Government of India, said, “CIBJO is one the oldest gem & jewellery organisations in the world. Legend has it that the founder king of Jaipur Sawai Jaisingh invited artisans from all over world to set up gem & jewellery workshops adding a historical significance to the CIBJO Congress being held here. India is committed to furthering gem & jewellery trade and the Foreign Trade Policy has a separate section for this sector. India holds an important position in global supply chain network. India has taken early initiatives such as creation of many new harmonised code systems to identify different gem & jewellery industry segments leading to correct classification and valuation. It is good to see GJEPC and CIBJO work together for enhancing trust, traceability and transparency.”
Ms. Feriel Zerouki, President, WDC, said, “India has been the heart of the global gem & jewellery business. India continues to play an increasingly central role in the global supply chain. India is now much more than traditional focus on cutting and polishing centre. India is now emerging as a rapidly growing global hub and consumer centre. It is always exciting to be in India where the passion, experience and expertise in the gem & jewellery business is growing constantly. Our business is cyclical and eventually the cycle rebounds and we shall experience upswing. We need to be prepared and ready to capture future opportunities. We need to think long term consumer interests and expectations. Traceability, Responsible sourcing and Sustainability are the key mantras. India has made progress in these areas. GJEPC has been spearheading fruitful discussions and advocating key perspectives to boost consumer confidence. We thank GJEPC for being unwavering in its support for developing G7 solutions framework in an effective practical and accessible manner.”
Mr. Yoram Dvash, President, WFDB, said, “The World Federation of Diamond Bourses is closely linked to the gem & jewellery industry. As economies are struggling and the US and China are facing challenging times, we are advocating Sustainability Responsibility and Transparency. Industry faces external and internal challenges. De Beers recognised the challenges faced by natural diamond industry and as key stakeholder, it has decided to invest $20 mn in marketing programs to enhance demand in the forthcoming festival season. CIBJO will discuss radical steps to boost the demand for natural diamonds. The WFDB along with GJEPC and CIBJO Congress will support the objectives of the G7 and create framework for self-regulation in the industry.”
Mr. Damien Cody, President, ICA, said, “The world’s gemstone industry has been in existence for thousands of years and it will continue to endure. The potential for growth in China and India is phenomenal and enormous. Gem & jewellery trade is trying to win customers back in the context of geopolitical and economic pressures. The demand at the top end of market is growing as seen in auctions. Impact of synthetics has grown and though disruptive, it has a place in the market. The marketing of synthetics needs to be controlled. The consumer needs to have clear unambiguous messages with full disclosures and disclaimers. The opposite will impact trust. Consumers are demanding more in terms of environment and sustainability. Complete transparency is impossible in gemstones but members are evolving and embracing continuous enhancements. Artisans and craftsmen communities should not feel the heat and impact of rapid changes. The wonderful vibrant stories of artisanal communities need to be celebrated across the world.”
The CIBJO Congress 2023 boasts an impressive array of sections, catering to the diverse facets of the jewellery industry. These sections encompass Responsible Sourcing, Sustainability, and ESG practices, emphasizing ethical and environmentally conscious approaches. The event also delves into the world of Jewellery Brands, examining their role and impact within the market. Furthermore, discussions will revolve around the feasibility of internationally recognized standards within the jewellery sector, while the Ethics Commission will address matters of moral significance. Special sessions will shine a spotlight on Colored Gemstone Responsible Sourcing, Diamonds, Fei Cui, and Precious Metals. Notably, the congress will feature exclusive presentations by prominent industry figures, Gaetan Guillosson, India Country Manager at Cartier, and Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields, adding an extra layer of expertise and insight to this remarkable gathering.
The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) covers the entire jewellery, gemstone and precious metals sectors – vertically, from mine to marketplace, and horizontally within each of the component parts in the various production, manufacturing and trading centres. Its members are not individuals, but rather representative associations or commercial bodies. They include national and international trade organisations from more than 45 countries around the world and many of the international jewellery sector’s leading corporations and service providers. The Confederation is also the only organisation in the international diamond, gemstone and jewellery sectors to have received official consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. This enables it to advance programmes and goals of the UN within the industry, serving as a technical expert, adviser and consultant to governments and the UN Secretariat. It additionally is a member of the UN Global Compact and is committed to the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
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