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Russian jewelers set their sights on exporting

04 december 2017

On November 10-12, the Moscow International Trade Center hosted a presentation of the Carl Fabergé International Jewellery Art Competition. The competition was established on the initiative launched by Russia’s leading public associations of the domestic jewellery industry, including the Jewellers Guild of Russia and the Club of Russian Jewellery Trade, and supported by the Moscow International Trade Center, Carl Faberge Museum and World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO).

This international Competition named after the celebrated Carl Faberge is held with the aim of "promoting the national school of jewellery mastery, returning to it the leading positions in the world and assigning Russia the status of a most important center for the preservation and development of artistic jewellery". This event should help to identify and encourage talented jewellers - craftsmen and designers, familiarize them with modern technologies of famous jewellery houses, exchange experience in developing the best traditions of jewellery art.

The program of the Competition includes nominations in jewellery design and technology, in re-creating and development of the Faberge House historical style and technology and in creating jewellery masterpieces. One of the key tasks of the Competition is to select applicants who are worthy of presenting the achievements of the Russian jewellery industry at international exhibitions.

The pieces produced by the best jewellery companies of Russia were exhibited at the Congress Center - their premium status was confirmed by the awards of the prestigious international professional competition "Jewellery Russia" and by High Artistic Value Passports certified by art critics and experts of the State Hermitage Museum, Moscow Kremlin Museums, Historical Museum, etc. A number of jewellery houses and companies, including Сhamovskikh, GEVORKYAN, Alexey Pomelnikov, Maxim Demidov, SARKISSIAN, Denisov & Gems, Argenta, N. Balmasov Workshop, Kiergė, Diamonds of Yakutia, Bogarta, DPI Union of Artists, etc., presented their works for their judgement.

The jury of the Faberge International Competition included authoritative foreign experts on the jewellery industry and owners of well-known global brands. After officially inaugurating the Competition and cutting the tape, the organizers and guests, including Gagik Gevorkyan, President of the Jewellers Guild of Russia; Valery Budny, President of the JUNWEX Industry Media Holding; Gaetano Cavalieri, President of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO); Alexander Rybakov, Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce; Konstantin Evstyukhin of Russian Export Center; and other participants of the event went round the exhibition admiring and discussing the jewellery presented for the Competition and talking with jewellers taking part in the JUNWEX Premium Jewellery Show.

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Within this event, the organizers held a round table on "Implementing the Export Potential of the Russian Jewellery Sector: Problems and Prospects" to discuss the ways to develop jewellery exports. The discussion was joined by speakers from industry trade unions, jewellery companies, government and state agencies.

According to the official statistics voiced at the round table, the share of Russian jewellery products in the world’s total exports in 2016 was 0.1%. Russia exports less than $ 100 million worth of finished jewellery goods. Industry stakeholders also said that if they would have support from the state they would be ready to increase exports to $ 1 billion a year.

It was not by chance that this round table attended by the jewellery industry’s stakeholders and federal officials was organized in the framework of JUNWEX Premium, Russia’s first high-end jewellery show, on the eve of the Faberge Competition. In the opinion of the round-table panelists, it is the exhibition projects that may become an effective channel for the expansion of Russian producers to foreign markets.

Until recently, about 70% of the Russian jewellery market was occupied by imported goods, but now, according to Gagik Gevorkyan, Head of Jewellers Guild of Russia, the share of imported jewellery does not exceed 5 to 6%. Domestic producers almost completely meet the domestic demand for jewellery and are ready to work for export. In the view of market players, the Middle East, Europe and America appear to be promising markets for Russian jewellery goods. The world’s export market of jewellery is estimated at $400 billion a year, and there is interest in Russian jewellery abroad, according to jewellers. Nevertheless, the imperfection of domestic legislation, which is undergoing changes, but still cannot keep pace with market trends, hampers the expansion to new markets. If introduced, preferential taxation of exporters could significantly increase jewellery exports, thus adding to the revenues of the country’s state budget.

Jewellery industry players consider it necessary to revise the system of import duties on precious stones, some of which are not mined in Russia. Also, it is necessary to abolish the obsolescent proceeding of mandatory hallmarking jewellery intended for export, as well as to simplify customs procedures for taking jewellery out of the country for display and sale and to support the participation of domestic producers in the largest professional exhibitions. It should be noted that foreign markets are highly competitive and without the assistance of the state it will be difficult for the Russian jewellery industry mainly represented by small-size companies to throw its hat in the ring.

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For their part, Russian authorities express readiness to solve the problems facing domestic producers. For example, Elena Ladozhina, Deputy Head of the Department for Trade Restrictions, Currency and Export Controls of the Federal Customs Service assured that the FCS will improve the system of customs procedures by switching to electronic document circulation - this will undoubtedly simplify the declaration of exported goods and their return in case they are not sold. For his part, Semen Mashkautsan, Deputy Director of the Department of Metallurgy and Materials at the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation recalled that his department this year would be endowed with the functions of overseeing the export policy, including the jewellery industry. The Russian Export Center could also propose a range of financial and non-financial measures to this effect.

Readiness to provide assistance was expressed by foreign partners interested in the development of jewellery trade. Gaetano Cavalieri, President of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) noted that these same issues also exist in Europe, so he does not exclude the possibility of creating a special commission that could solve general problems impeding the exchange of goods through a dialogue.

The round-table panelists stressed the necessity for Russian jewellers to take part in international exhibitions held abroad. Valery Budny told about the initiative to hold the Carl Faberge International Jewellery Competition organized with the support of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), Jewellers Guild of Russia and Russian Jewellery Trade Club. He is convinced that this Competition will permit to discover talented jewellers and include their works in the expositions to be taken to international jewellery shows. The jewellery community is ready to take part in selecting the most visited exhibitions and determine the measures to support the most promising jewellery manufacturers in team with the Russian Export Center.

The Ministry of Industrial Policy and Trade of the Russian Federation also expressed its readiness to support the initiative of holding the international Competition. Deputy Minister Sergey Tsyb expressed confidence that this would help Russian jewellers increase their export potential and assured those present that the ministry will pay special attention to the jewellery industry.

The Russian Export Center was asked to include the Competition, which will be held across the world in stages, in the "road map" to support the export of jewellery. The next continental stages of the Faberge International Competition will be held in Vicenza, Las Vegas and Hong Kong. The awards ceremony will take place in Moscow in 2018 in the framework of the next JUNWEX Premium exhibition.

At the end of the discussion, it was decided to hand over the "road map", which will include proposals of jewellery manufacturers and associations, to the Russian Export Center and the Ministry of Industry and Trade for further development and implementation. The implementation of these plans will begin next year.

Galina Semyonova for Rough&Polished

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