THE Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Raj Modi, has been invited by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJPEC) to participate in the second edition of the India Gold and Jewellery Summit to be held in New Delhi on 23 and 24 November.
Key stakeholders in the global gold and jewellery trade sector are due to attend the event, which is jointly bankrolled by the World Gold Council and GJPEC India. India is seen as a befitting host as it consumes more than 1 000 tonnes of gold per annum and imports more than 850 tonnes annually at a cost of about US$35 billion.
The chairperson of GJPEC India, Mr Pramod Kumar Agrawal, said the main purpose of the summit was to tackle numerous challenges bedevilling global gold trade.
“The primary objective of the summit is to provide a platform for key stakeholders of both Indian and international gold and jewellery to deliberate on the various challenges being faced by the sector, articulate possible solutions and set an agenda for the development of the industry.
“The overarching discussion agenda of the conference would be macro stability with gold with focused sessions on the Niti Aayog Report, techniques and innovations in the jewellery manufacturing, enhancing gold exports, employment generation, branding and retailing, standards, among other deliberations.”
Global gold trade is faced with challenges at every point in the supply chain from ensuring that gold has been extracted in a way that does not support unlawful armed conflict, to retail buyers taking the sourcing of their gold into consideration. Other challenges are informal mining, which has seen millions of artisanal miners working independently without the backing of labour, environmental, or safety regulations, the complex gold extraction process, which has seen some countries losing large quantities of the precious mineral due to poor extraction method and lack of an integrated gold trading market.
Deputy Minister Modi’s invitation follows the recent visit by the Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu, which saw Zimbabwe signing major investment deals with the fastest growing economy in the world. In an interview the Deputy Minister said he will use the summit as a platform to woo international gold investors to Zimbabwe and to find new markets for the country’s gold.
“We have plenty of gold in Zimbabwe and I believe this is an opportunity we cannot let pass. India wants to invest in Zimbabwe and we should make sure we leverage their interest to our advantage.
“We want India and other countries and companies to invest in our gold mines, we want them to help us add value to our gold.
“We want large scale gold mining to take place. This will mean increased tax revenue and investments for our country.
“A single gold bar is worth millions of dollars. We want to ensure that we get the maximum from our gold bars. We want to turn our gold into jewellery and sell it to the rest of the world at a higher price. Adding value to our gold and other minerals will generate lots of foreign currency for the country. It will result in rapid economic growth,” said Deputy Minister Modi.
The Bulawayo South Constituency Member of National Assembly said he will also use the summit to highlight the challenges Zimbabwe has been facing in global gold trade as well as learn from other stakeholders in gold trade.