People shop for jewellery products at a Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company store (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Indian and Vietnamese gem and jewellery companies, which met on August 23 at an event organised by the Indian consulate in HCM City, agreed there is much potential for bilateral cooperation.

They discussed the possibility of greater collaboration since India is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and exporters of jewellery and polished diamonds.

The industry generated revenues of over 40 billion USD from exports for India last year. The country exports around 95 percent of the world’s diamonds.

But Vietnamese industry insiders said the value of gold, gems and jewellery imported directly from India is not significant, with most of the imports being routed through middlemen in Hong Kong.

Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, Chairwoman of Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ), said most of her company’s diamonds are imported from India through a Hong Kong company.

She complained about the high import tariffs, saying it is as much as 50 percent including value added tax.

She urged Indian enterprises to sell gems, technologies and software for gem and jewellery trading management to Vietnam.

Nguyen Van Dung, Chairman of the Saigon Jewellery Association, also blamed the high import tariffs for hindering cooperation between Vietnamese and Indian companies.

HCM City has 3,000 manufacturers and traders of gold and jewellery, who produce and sell nearly 40 tonnes of finished gold products a year.

Of them, 1,600 are members of the association.-VNA