The Covid-19 Pandemic has harmed the world economies, including India’s economy. But, the Surat SEZ (Special Economic Zone) gave a ray of hope by increasing the exports by 250% in the past two years.
Analysts credit the achievement to the United States and Europe’s embargo on Hong Kong and China following the outbreak, which benefitted the Surat jewelry sector. Exports of textiles, diamonds, solar equipment, tobacco, and plastics grew exponentially.
Surat SEZ exports amounted to be Rs 7,655 crore in 2018-2019, rising to Rs 18,021 crores in 2021-2022. Lab-grown diamonds, in particular, have seen a 50% increase in demand from regions such as the United States. Plastic, rubber, solar energy, and cigarette products witnessed increases ranging from 5% to 40%.
Open During Pandemic
Virendra Singh, Director General of Foreign Trade, told journalists that the Surat SEZ made high strides in the last four years. When the rest of the enterprises were closed, the units in the SEZ had special authorization to restart production. Natural polished and lab-grown diamonds have been in high demand throughout Europe and the United States.
Surat grabbed the lead during the initial wave of the epidemic in March 2020, when there was a halt in diamond exports from Mumbai, ensuing lockdown.
Dinesh Navadiya, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman, said, “Post the outbreak of Covid from China, US, and Europe boycotted gems and jewelry trade in Hong Kong and China. This proved beneficial for Surat. Also, jewelry made from lab-grown diamonds and silver has registered a rise in the American market. All this helped the Surat diamond industry.”