Chennai: Contrary to the trends in other Special Economic Zones, Kochi SEZ has recorded a phenomenal growth in the exports of gems and jewellery in the past two years. Gem and jewellery exports from Kochi Special Economic Zone shot up 529 per cent in the past two years, while the total exports from the country has been declining. Kochi SEZ has not added any major manufacturing unit in these years.
In FY19, Kochi SEZ exported Rs 40,888 crore worth gems and jewellery, which was 95 per cent of the total exports from the zone. In FY17, the gems and
jewellery exports stood at Rs 6,501 crore and this went up to Rs 19,149 crore in FY18—a growth of 529 per cent in two years and 114 per cent in one year.
According to SEZ officials, gold jewellery, medallions and coins are largely exported from the SEZ under the gems and jewellery category. Of the total gold
jewellery, medallion and coin export from the country, Kochi SEZ alone has a share of 45 per cent. When we take gold jewellery exports from all the SEZs in the country as well as medallion and coin exports, Kochi SEZ's share is 61 per cent.
In FY19, gold jewellery aggregate exports from all other SEZs in the country has declined 6 per cent from Rs 21,146 crore in FY18 to Rs 19,860 crore in FY19.
In these two years, gems and jewellery has increased its share in the total exports from the SEZ. In FY17 it accounted for 71 per cent, 87 per cent in FY18 and 95 per cent in FY19.
Officials told Financial Chronicle that Rajesh Exports accounts for majority exports from the SEZ. There are three more exporters—Amy Jewellers, Cochin Art and MTV Jewellers—which operate from the SEZ. No new unit has been opened in the last two years. Instead, last year Sona Diamond and Gold Exporters shut their unit in the SEZ after UAE imposed five per cent VAT and it became unprofitable for the company to export.
Rajesh Exports started operations in the SEZ in 2016 and till then gems and jewllery was not even a category mentioned in the export data of the SEZ.