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CIBJO To Act As Parliament of World Jewellery Industry
CIBJO To Act As Parliament of World Jewellery Industry
By: Administrator
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Apr 26 2007 12:00AM
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Reference: 2258  

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: MARCH 15, 2007 – CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has concluded its 2007 Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, resolving to review the structure of the organization, with the intention of consolidating and broadening its role in the international jewellery industry. The event’s primary theme was the role of the international jewellery industry in promoting industry-wide responsible business practices and economic sustainability in countries where raw materials are produced.

The Guest of Honour on the opening day was the South African Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka. She said, “South Africa is still one of the largest exporters of gold and most of which goes to jewellery, a significant diamond producer and is the largest producer of platinum providing 75 per cent of the world demand, yet our jewellery industry has less than 1 per cent of the world market.” She told the CIBJO Congress, “We can do much better than this. The jewellery industry, as a downstream industry, is ideally placed to contribute to job creation and economic growth. The industry is in large parts labour intensive and could be a contributor to social and economic development. We recognize direct jobs are not in millions but we welcome the thousands of the indirect jobs. We thank you all for working with us in making these changes.”
In her official speech at the CIBJO Congress, Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry Elizabeth Thabethe, emphasized that “South Africa is Alive With Business Opportunities”.

“Congresses, like the CIBJO conference are very important to our economy, especially in terms of achieving our targeted growth rate of 6% and halving unemployment and poverty by 2014. As the lead department, tasked with making the targeted growth rate a reality, the Department of Trade and Industry has initiated programs to promote investment and export opportunities as well as negotiated trade benefits for the industry. How therefore can we as government contribute meaningfully to ‘delivering a responsible and sustainable global jewellery industry.

As government we are proud of the talent of South African jewellers. Their designs are truly unique. We salute jewellery projects that promote economic and social development.

My Government sees training as crucial. For this reason, skills development is funded by government and training structures have been created in partnership with business to ensure high industry standards. Jewellery manufacturers based in South Africa can approach the Mining Qualifications Authority for financial assistance with in-house training programs.

To transform its comparative advantage as a leading producer of precious metals and gemstones to become a globally competitive producer and marketer of jewellery, current legislation aims to promote the beneficiation of precious metals and gemstones in South Africa, to achieve government’s economic aspirations for growth, employment and equity.

We co-sponsor events like the CIBJO Congress to showcase South African jewellery, and to obtain the advice of experts. We have funded research to help the industry grow.

We have assisted potential investors to link up with South African jewellers, in co-operation with the Jewellery Council of South Africa.

We have helped jewellers to expand through grants that enabled them to acquire machinery, land and buildings.

We have concluded a trade agreement with the European Union to gradually phase out import duties, with the idea of promoting market access into the EU. We also promote the utilization of the United States’ Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which has been extended to 2015, allowing zero per cent import duties on jewellery manufactured in SA.

Thus we have various incentives to promote exports, investments and infrastructure development.”

On the second day of its 2007 Congress CIBJO had a long, two-panel discussion on sustainable practices. The panels were organized by CIBJO’s Ethics Commission and featured 16 speakers from companies and associations representing all aspects of the jewellery supply chain.

Cecilia Gardner of the U.S.-based Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) began the discussion by outlining the importance of following existing laws and regulations in all CIBJO member countries, including those covering the Kimberley Process and anti-money laundering.

Large diamond, gold and platinum mining companies and association speakers included John Hall of Rio Tinto Diamonds, Martin Leake of BHP Billiton Diamonds, Steve Lenahan of AngloGold Ashanti, and James Courage, of Platinum Guild International, representing platinum miners. All detailed their organizations’ extensive commitments to sustainability, through longstanding internal programs as well as membership in the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices (CRJP).

Colored gemstone manufacturer- Eric Braunwart, Vancouver, WA, spoke about three fair trade initiatives his company has started in Mexico, Africa and Australia; while ICA ambassador- Rui Galopim de Carvalho spoke of ICA members’ commitment to sustainable practices in the colored gem supply chain.
CIBJO Treasurer Marc-Alain Christen spoke of the Swiss Jewellery & Watch industry’s new ethics code, which its members pledge to follow.
Besides Retailers’ representatives, several other speakers addressed lab practices, including Don Palmieri, GCAL, New York, who spoke about his lab’s enhanced guarantees; and Tom Cushman of the Institute Gemmologie de Madagascar.

Finally, Michael Rae, CEO of the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices, updated the CIBJO delegates about the progress his 71-member group is making towards the implementation of its Responsible Practices Framework, with third party monitoring due to begin in January, 2008.

“The array of speakers heard, conveys to the world how serious the international jewellery industry is about sustainable business practices,” noted Matt Runci, Jewelers of America President and CEO, who moderated the panels along with De Beers’ Manager, corporate responsibility, James Evans Lombe. Runci and Evans Lombe, along with Cecilia Gardner, serve as CIBJO’s Ethics Commission Chair and Vice-chairs.

A Special Committee was appointed to examine CIBJO’s structure and system of governance, to liaise with CIBJO membership and other experts, for preparing a proposal to be presented for discussion at the 2008 CIBJO Congress. CIBJO President Cavalieri noted that, according to CIBJO’s obligations as a member of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, CIBJO is expected to present to ECOSOC a document explaining its system of governance, complying with UN standards, no later than July, 2008.

Precious Metals Blue Book:

Meeting for the first time as the Precious Metals Commission, the body was given approval to produce a Precious Metals Blue Book for the jewellery industry. The Blue Book will encompass gold, silver, platinum and palladium, and will recommend that no negative tolerances should be allowed on finished jewellery, watches or silverware sold to members of the public.

Also meeting for the first time in a new format was CIBJO’s Marketing and Education Commission, which unveiled the especially produced manual titled “Diamond Jewellery Retailing: A Guide to Success,” both as a printed publication, and as in electronic form, posted online on the CIBJO website at www.cibjo.org.
The 2007 CIBJO Congress was hosted by the Jewellery Council of South Africa, and the leading sponsors were the South African Department of Trade and Industry, the De Beers Group and the South African Diamond Board.

CIBJO’s Assembly of Delegates confirmed that the 2008 CIBJO Congress will he held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, hosted by the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre.

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