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The rise and rise of Surat's diamonds

The newly opened Surat Diamond Bourse in Gujarat is likely to help the state cement its position as the diamond capital of the world

A large percentage of the world's rough diamonds are processed in Surat
A large percentage of the world's rough diamonds are processed in Surat (HT_PRINT)

The diamond sector in Gujarat, where eight of the world's 10 rough diamonds are processed by around eight lakh polishers based in Surat, is a major contributor to the state's economy, and the new diamond bourse coupled with the Vibrant Gujarat Summit are projected to spur its growth further, believe experts. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated the sprawling Surat Diamond Bourse, calling it a symbol of strength and determination of new India. 

Also read: Explained: What are lab-grown diamonds that are getting a Budget push?

According to industry experts, the contribution of the state's diamond sector is only going to get bigger with the new bourse as the turnover is projected to go up to 2 lakh crore annually. The industry is set to provide employment to another 1.5 lakh people and help achieve the central government's ambitious export targets for gem and jewellery, they say. 

The Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit will help in the growth of the gems and jewellery sector, which accounts for 3.5% of world's export, which will add sheen to the state's economy with the central government aiming to increase it to double digits, the experts said. 

The 10th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit is scheduled to be held in state capital Gandhinagar from 10-12 January. 

In his inaugural speech at the Surat Diamond Bourse, built with an investment of 3,400 crore, Modi hailed the sector for generating eight lakh jobs, and said another 1.5 lakh jobs will be added due to the new bourse. 

With India's largest customs clearance house, jewellery mall and international banking facility, the bourse will boost the development of the diamond industry, he said. India's global contribution to gems and jewellery exports is 3.5%, which the central government aims to take up to double digits, and the bourse and Surat entrepreneurs will help achieve the same, Modi said. 

The Surat bourse has been built as part of the Dream City (Diamond Research and Mercantile City) project, which covers a total area of 700 hectare. Constructed over 6.6 million square feet, it will serve as a hub for diamond cutting, polishing and processing, cutting cost which it aims to pass on to the buyers. 

Highlighting the global prominence of Surat's diamond industry, chief minister Bhupendra Patel said the bourse is set to become a global centre for rough and polished diamond trading. He said the state government was committed to ensure that Surat's diamond industry continues to develop unhindered. 

Also read: Are lab-grown diamonds the new crown jewel of luxury market?


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