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Wednesday, Feb 05, 2003

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Bangalore has potential to be export hub: Jewellers

Vishwanath Kulkarni

The availability of cost-effective skilled labour and peaceful industrial environment in the State are the main reasons to attract entrepreneurs' interests, especially from Mumbai and Gujarat.


BANGALORE has the potential to emerge as the jewellery and diamond export hub in the South provided the State Government creates necessary infrastructure to attract investments, according to the Karnataka Jewellery Exporters' Association (KJEA).

Bangalore, at present, accounts for two thirds of jewellery exports from south India and nearly five per cent of the country's overall gems and jewellery exports. For the current fiscal, jewellery exports from Bangalore are projected to cross Rs 300 crore, over last year's Rs 287 crore, said Mr D.V. Ramesh, Secretary, KJEA.

"Bangalore is also attracting major interest among the jewellery units in Gujarat and Mumbai. Any move by the State Government to create necessary infrastructure would definitely attract investments in this sector. With diamond giants like De-Beers setting up office in Bangalore and a Swiss gold firm planning to set up a gold refinery in the city, Bangalore has the potential to attract diamond cutting and polishing units and emerge as a global hub for gold jewellery and diamond exports," Mr Ramesh said.

The availability of cost-effective skilled labour and peaceful industrial environment in the State are the main reasons to attract entrepreneurs' interests, especially from Mumbai and Gujarat, he said. "Several units from Mumbai and Gujarat are either looking at relocating their existing units to Bangalore or planning additional units in the city," he added.

At present, Bangalore houses about eight jewellery export firms, of which three are export oriented units (EOUs). It also possesses skilled labour with nearly 10,000 goldsmiths being employed by the jewellery houses in the city alone, he said.

"Creation of a separate cluster for the gems and jewellery units, especially in the form of an SEZ-like zone would go a long way in boosting the industry prospects," he said. There is a tremendous potential to boost the gems and jewellery exports from the State, Mr Ramesh said.

"We have already submitted a proposal to the State Government to set up a cluster for gold jewellery units at Whitefield, Bangalore, on the identical lines of a cluster planned for jeans manufacturing units in Bellary, and are awaiting the response," he said.

The proposed cluster entails an investment of nearly Rs 10-11 crore and lays an emphasis on creating common infrastructure facilities like designing and casting centre, and setting up of training school for artisans and a raw material banks, he said.

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