The Coronavirus outbreak in China has now created its first problem for India. Because of this virus, Hong Kong has declared a state of emergency and shut all routes to Mainland China and shut all schools and colleges till the first week of March, or until the virus is not tackled effectively.
The Surat diamond industry is likely to face a loss of Rs. 8,000 crore as Hong Kong is a major business hub for the Surat diamond industry. “Due to the month-long vacation declared by Hong Kong govt, Indian businessmen are returning. The exhibition, going to be held in March in Hong Kong, has been cancelled. It used to set our orders for the year,” news agency ANI quoted Dinesh Navadiya, Regional Chairman of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council in Surat.
According to Navadiya, 37 per cent of the total export comes from here. Now Gujarati traders having offices in Hong Kong are coming back to India. Surat diamond industry polishes about 99% of all rough diamonds. If the situation does not change, it is likely to have a huge impact on the industry.
Another industry expert and diamond merchant Pravin Nanavati told news agency PTI, that there is a possibility of cancellation of an international jewellery exhibition in Hong Kong due to the Coronavirus. ” Polished diamonds and jewellery made in Surat reach across the world through Hong Kong. Now due to vacation there, our business is totally closed.”
Hong Kong is a major transit port for China and the Far east. Orders are placed at that event which sets the manufacturing target for an year. Now, that’s in jeopardy as Hong Kong tries to curtail the deadly virus. Around 18 people have tested positive for the disease, with one death reported so far.
As of now there have been three confirmed cases of coronavirus in India. All three have been in Kerala. India has temporarily suspended e-visa facility for Chinese and foreigners residing in China.