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Italy loses gold jewellery exporter top spot to India, US

Published on Nov 2, 2012 9:58 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Italy has lost its position as the world's premier gold jewellery exporter, overtaken by India and the United States, and risks slipping further due to its high cost base and tariff barriers.

For years, Italy was the world's biggest manufacturer and exporter of mass-produced and crafted gold jewellery. Bulgari, Damiani and Roberto Coin are Italian luxury brands celebrated worldwide for their opulent use of gold and precious gemstones and cutting-edge designs.

But the Italian goldsmith sector is fighting an uphill battle against punitive import duties imposed by markets such as China, and competition from lower cost producers benefiting from improving design skills and the latest technology.

Soaring prices of gold and high salaries have inflated Italian jewellery manufacturers' costs.

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