Golden shine on economic zone

Despite its high price, gold continues to give Kerala reasons to cheer up. The latest export earnings of gold jewellery from the Cochin Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) have touched Rs 28,473 crore.

The magnitude of gold’s worth sinks in only when one learns that it constituted the major chunk of the total export earnings of the CSEZ in 2011-12, which was Rs 29,975 crore.

In the previous year, gold exports at the CSEZ stood at about Rs 16,951 crore out of total export earnings of Rs 17,982 crore.

CSEZ sources said that high earnings from gold was partly due to the rise in the prices of gold and decline in the value of the rupee.

But the quantity exported too has gone up with a couple of jewellery manufacturing units joining the CSEZ last year.

While there are 16 gold and jewellery manufacturers in the CSEZ now, around 10 more units are waiting to join the zone this year. Gold exports from the state were exclusively to the Gulf and European countries.

“While exports to Gulf countries are mostly jewellery, Europeans prefer coins. Competitive pricing also was a reason for the boost in the demand for Kerala gold abroad,” said Mr P.V. Jose, state president of Jewellery Manufacturers Association.

Sector-wise export data of the CSEZ for 2011-12 also showed that after gold, electronics and hardware exports earned Rs 468 crore worth foreign exchange, IT&ITES Rs 314 crore, food and agricultural produce Rs 161 crore and textiles and garments Rs 113 crore, engineering items Rs 76 crore and rubber and plastic Rs 58 crore.

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