The Day 2 of the Mines to Market Conference came to an end with Rapaport’s offensive and demeaning presentation - “State of Diamond Industry”. He began by saying how greatly India is dependent on the US and how much it needs America more than anything else. His presentation and manner of speaking was extremely demeaning, aggressive and insulting to Indians. “Indian industries are suckers, they manipulate profits,” he said. He also mentioned that the net rough exports in the UAE are only because of India.
He continued with his vindictive presentation by accusing Indian businessmen of malpractices. He insinuated that Indians support illegal activities which are eventually funding terrorism and that President Trump will not stand for such things. It was very evident that Rapaport was acting as an agent for Trump to fix policies between India and America.
He also mentioned that the U.S. will imply duty going forward and he threatened to include this as a part of his presentation to the U.S. He said that there should be a bilateral agreement between India and the U.S. which includes free import and export of diamonds and jewellery. His beneath the belt presentation further targeted our PM Narendra Modi. “His statement of making India a global trading hub is bull shit,” he said. He laid blame on Indian business men as black money hoarders while having white money in another pocket. The audience and industry people were infuriated by these remarks. Anoop Mehta, President, BDB condemned the way Rapaport spoke on the dais and guaranteed that the Indian diamond industry is fully compliant with the laws. He rejected all his allegations and said that all the rough diamonds that come to India are strictly checked at the Indian customs and that there is absolutely no room for error. “If 2 pc companies are indulging in wrong practices, doesn’t mean 98 pc of them are doing the same,” he said.
Rapaport’s presentation was not part of the actual schedule and was plugged in at the last moment. This was considered highly inappropriate and disrespectful especially because it was the 50th anniversary of GJEPC.