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Coronavirus hits diamond trade

In the face of the outbreak of Coronavirus in China & Hong Kong (- one of the key markets for Indian exporters), numerous gems & jewellery houses have sought help from the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Finance Ministry & the Reserve Bank of India. The fact that Hong Kong serves as a key midway port for global distribution also adds to the woes of Indian jewellery traders. Further, in the wake of the rapid spread of virus in Hong Kong, Hong Kong authorities have postponed the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show 2020 and Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2020.

According to the industry experts, about 30-35% of India’s gems trade could be impacted as a result of this global health emergency. “The letter of credit, packing credit and bills outstanding for shipments to China or Hong Kong and for goods already exported for which payments are receivable from buyers in these regions should be given at least six months of additional time to resolve financial delinquencies,” said Pramod Kumar Agrawal, Chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council.