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2011 President’s Meeting: A Gathering of Opinions
Vasant Mehta talks about need to resolve issue of Marange diamonds
By: Diamond World News Service
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Apr 14 2011 4:43PM
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Reference: 5914  

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The WFDB’s 2011 Presidents' Meeting in Dubai, which began on 12 April, 2011, has offered a number of presentations on issues of the diamond industry and also offered a prelude to the KP stakeholder meeting slated in Dubai today.

Bringing this to highlight, during the event, Vasant Mehta, immediate past president of the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and a vice president of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, brought attention to the issue of Zimbabwe and mentioned that the diamond industry was being deprived of the supply of some 30 million carats of rough diamonds, at a time when demand for rough is rising. He urged all relevant parties ‘to sit in the room and hear the voice of sanity and resolve the issue that was acceptable to everybody and of course to Zimbabwe’ – referring to the KP stakeholder meeting.

The gathering at the President’s Meeting, was also exposed to presentations on - ‘The need for ethical behaviour and corporate social responsibility in the diamond industry,’ from a banker’s perspective by Willy Laeremans, Chief Executive Officer of Antwerp Diamond Bank Asia Pacific Ltd., the past, current and projected supply diamond pipeline of rough and polished diamonds by industry consultant and analyst Chaim Even Zohar, Avi Paz’s overview of the WFDB's role, responsibilities, activities and contributions to the diamond business community and its role in enhancing consumer confidence.

Keynote speaker Mr. Sultan bin Nasser al Suwaidi, Governor of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates gave an overview of the impact of the economic crisis and how the UAE has weathered the financial crisis. Also, Tokyo Diamond Exchange President Michio Iwasaki thanked the WFDB membership for the many messages of sympathy for his exchange following the disastrous earthquake and tsunami in Japan last month.

A number of reports were given by the chairs of the various committees, including the judicial and trade and promotion committees. Eli Izhakoff, president of the World Diamond Council (WDC), presented a report on the WDC's activities. Veteran WFDB officer Dieter Hahn, a founding member of the International Diamond Council, was commended for creating a German translation of the IDC Rules. A moment of solidarity was noted, as the gathering paid tribute to the late Freddy Hager.

Later in the evening, participants were hosted for a cocktail and dinner party at the DDC sponsored by the ABN AMRO Bank.

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