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Inauguration of Surat Diamond Bourse by PM Modi sets the agenda for high growth of diamond trade

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In overall global gems and jewellery exports, India’s share is just 3.5%; and “if Surat decides” then the country’s share in gems and jewellery exports can touch double digits, the PM said

Surat: The country got its second diamond bourse when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Surat Diamond Bourse – said to be the ‘world’s largest office building’ spanning over 67 lakh square feet – at Khajod in Surat, Gujarat on November 17, 2023.  The occasion generated high optimism for the development of the diamond trade and set the agenda for Surat’s elevation to an important global centre for the business. 

Chairman of the Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB), Vallabhbhai Lakhani welcomed the gathering and laid out his vision for the new centre, while Laljibhai Patel from Dharmanandan Diamond Ltd also addressed the audience.  Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Bharatiya Janata Party State chief C.R. Patil, Union Ministers Mansukh Mandaviya and Purshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State Darshana Jardosh were among the dignitaries present on the occasion. 

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister remarked that “a new diamond has been added to the magnificence of Surat city”. “It is not an ordinary diamond, but the best in the world,” he said, adding, “The Surat Diamond Bourse building is a symbol of New India’s capabilities and resolutions.” He credited the managing committee of the SDB and the spirit of taking everyone along for the success of such a huge mission, and highlighted the architecture and ‘green’ SDB building which can become an example for environment advocates around the world. 

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Mentioning the efforts to increase exports, the PM said that the country’s diamond industry will have a big role to play. He asked the titans of industry to explore ways of increasing Surat’s role in increasing the country’s exports. He pointed out that in overall global gems and jewellery exports, India’s share is just 3.5%. “If Surat decides, then our share in gems and jewellery exports can touch double digits,” he said, reiterating the government’s support for the sector. He mentioned measures like declaring the sector as a focus area for export promotion, promotion of patented design, diversification of export products, collaboration for better technology, promotion of lab-grown or green diamonds and special provisions for green diamonds in the Budget. He expressed confidence that the sector is bound to benefit from the positive global outlook towards India and the growing stature of the ‘Make in India’ mission.

The Prime Minister said that the government is giving special emphasis on building modern infrastructure in Surat. “If Surat moves forward, Gujarat will move forward. If Gujarat moves forward then the country will move forward,” he declared. 

Talking about the two other ‘gifts’ for Surat, the Prime Minister mentioned the inauguration of a new airport terminal at Surat and the elevation of the status of Surat Airport as an international airport, along with commencement of flights to Dubai and later to Hong Kong that will benefit the diamond trade. 

Mentioning that Surat has become one of the top 10 growing cities in the world, the PM said Surat which was known as the Sun City earlier, transformed itself into Diamond City through the hard work and dedication of its people. “Today, Surat is the Dream City for lakhs of youth,” he added. 

Envisioned to be a global centre for trading of both rough and polished diamonds as well as jewellery, the SDB will have facilities such as international banking, a Customs clearance house for import and export, jewellery mall for retail jewellery business and safe vaults. It is expected to create 1.5 lakh new jobs.  

The SDB is part of the Diamond Research and Mercantile (DREAM) City. With 67 lakh square feet of floor space, the SDB has about 4,500 diamond trading offices. The mega structure, built on a plot of 35.54 acres inside the DREAM City, has nine towers of 15 floors with office spaces ranging from 300 sq ft to 1 lakh+ sq ft. Several diamond traders, including those based in Mumbai earlier, have already taken possession of their offices, which were allotted by the management after auction. 

Retail Jeweller India News

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