International Diamond Week Opens at IDEAugust 31, 15
(IDEX Online News) – The fifth Israel International Diamond Week was officially opened at the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) in Ramat Gan this (Monday) morning. The event is expected to attract hundreds of buyers, with representatives from 20 countries, including Belgium, India, Turkey, China, the US, Russia and Switzerland.
In his opening address, IDE president Shmuel Schnitzer said that in the current economic climate, companies in the IDE were not immune from defaults, and that there have been similar instances in China, India and Dubai.
“We are all experiencing economically challenging times,” he said. “The purchasing of pieces of jewelry is among the first to be hit. This International Diamond Week reflects our determination to promote our business despite the difficulties.”
He said he was particularly pleased that a large delegation from Turkey, led by Norayr Isler, chairman of the board of directors of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, had come to Ramat Gan. He said that he “hoped that it would lead to the building of a bridge between our diamond industry and Turkey.”
Israel Trau, CEO of Union Bank, gave a brief overview of the lengthy relationship between his bank and the Israel diamond industry. He said that “the diamond industry is a reflection of the global economy, which is currently dealing with a strong sense of market uncertainty.” “The industry has had had to cope with increasingly stringent regulations and low profitability… due to the growing disparity between the prices of rough and polished diamonds,” he added.
Isler said that Istanbul will shortly be opening a diamond and gemstone exchange, which will open the door to millions of consumers in Turkey. “Israel will be playing a leading role in this effort and will be helping in establishing the exchange in Turkey. We have the opportunity to act together and we are very happy”, he said.
Marcel Pruwer, the former president of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, admitted that the mid-stream of the diamond pipeline has some immediate issues. “We have the capabilities to solve those problems,” he said. “We in the mid-stream have to accept responsibility for finding the solutions [to the issues that relate to us]. If we do that, we can once again have a great business. This was a great business for quite a few decades, and it can be again,” he added.
Pruwer was awarded an honorary membership of the Israel Diamond Exchange, in part for his work on behalf of the WFDB, including the international anti-laundering money laws.
The International Israel Diamond Week runs until September 3.