MUMBAI (Commodity Online): Gems and jewellery exports from India, the world's largest supplier, is expected to grow to US$ 25 billion by 2012, according to the Investment Commission of India. India is the largest importer and consumer of gold in the world.

Exports jewellery products consisting of gold and silver jewellery items from the country grew from $5.54 billion (Rs.22,315 crore) in 2007-08 to $6.85 billion in 2008-09 despite the economic slowdown.

In February, the sector witnessed 55 percent surge to US$ 2252.54 million.

The gems and jewellery sector accounted for 13 percent of India's total merchandise exports.

Another study recently viewed that the Indian gems and jewellery sector is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 14 percent from 2009 to 2012, driven by availability of a huge base of skilled labour and improving lifestyle.

India is one of the fastest growing jewellery markets in the world and also the largest consumer of gold with over 700 tonnes consumption in 2008 which accounts for around 24 percent of world gold consumption, majority of it going into production of jewellery.