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Bengal gem show

Calcutta, July 9: Diamonds, sapphires, garnets, fire opals, citrines, tourmalines, iolites, gold and silver are now dazzling enough to draw the Bengal government.

The state government will be part of the India International Jewellery Show to be held in Mumbai between July 18 and 21 at Bombay Exhibition Centre, NSE Complex. If all goes well, even commerce and industries minister Nirupam Sen might be there.

The show, which was started by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council in 1985, is the only one of its kind in the country.

Pankaj Parekh, convener of the council’s eastern India division, said: “WBIDC wanted to put up a stall at the show, but all 620 stalls were booked. So I asked Sen to visit Mumbai so that he can interact with businessmen and draw investors to Manikanchan, the gems and jewellery park coming up at Salt Lake.”

WBIDC is working on an audio-visual presentation, said managing director Gopal Krishnan. “Even if we do not put up a stall, it is important to put up a presentation and tell potential clients about Manikanchan.”

Last year, WBIDC had put up a stall but there was no presentation, Krishnan said. “We want to continue the process and also feel that a presentation is important to reach clients.”

With Manikanchan coming up, this is an opportunity for the state to woo investors from different parts of the world.

The five-acre park, being built at a cost of Rs 25 crore, has a Common Facilities Building and is almost set to be declared a special economic zone (SEZ). There are plans to have a customs house for in-house clearance, export agencies, an exhibition-cum-conference hall, a training institute and a special CAD-CAM design centre.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee only recently visited Mumbai to woo investors.

The India International Jewellery Show will have delegations from Japan, Italy, Latin America, Thailand, Germany, Dubai, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Zambia.

WBIDC chairman Somnath Chatterjee is also learnt to have told Nirupam Sen that the state would benefit from participating in the meet.

The exhibition will provide a forum for visitors to view latest designs, learn about new trends and products and expand their businesses. This year’s fair is much larger than last year’s, with over 600 stalls covering 5,000 square metres. Over 400 companies from all over the world will participate.

It is a meeting point of leading jewellery manufacturers, retailers, exporters, designers, training institutions, machinery companies, suppliers of ancillary products for the gems and jewellery industry, suppliers of cut and polished diamonds and coloured gemstones, watch manufacturers and importers from all over the world.

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