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32nd world Diamond Congress
Anoop Mehta and Vasant Mehta represented Indian Diamond Industry
By: Alok Kala & Gunjan Jain
Jun 27 2006 12:00AM
Reference: 429  


Over 800 diamantaires and industry leaders from over 30 countries filled the terrace at the Tel Aviv Hilton Hotel at the World Diamond Congress opening cocktail reception on June 27, 2006. The lavish event featured lights, music and good food and drink, in a festive and informal atmosphere. Guest of honor at the reception was Israel Minister of Finance Avraham Hirschson, who revealed that in his youth he worked in the diamond industry. This revelation was greeted by cheers from the audience. The reception was opened by Yair Sahar, Chairman of the Congress Organizing Committee, who said that the deliberations that would be held over the next several days would have a critical impact on the world diamond industry. Until that time, Sahar said, he wished that guests would enjoy the camaraderie and positive atmosphere to make new contacts and renew old ties.

In addition, at the event greetings were brought by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, WFDB President Shmuel Schnitzer, IDMA President Jeffrey Fischer, Israel Diamond Exchange President Avi Paz, and Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association Vice President David De Toledo. The opening session presented an opportunity for the congress organizers and heads of diamond organizations to offer thanks to each other and to wish attendees a fruitful and fulfilling time. Though the time was primarily used for general statements, one issue was touched on by nearly all of those who spoke – consumer confidence, which even at this early stage in the proceedings, appears to be the congress watchword. Anoop Mehta and Vasant Mehta representing WFDB and IDMA respectively were present as representatives from India.

Shmuel Schnitzer, outgoing president of the WFDB, talked at length about the effect of the world economy on the diamond industry. He also discussed the WFDB Mark, which is to be launched at the congress. The mark, he told delegates, will become an integral part of the system from now on and will help to increase consumer confidence in diamonds and will also give those who adhere to the precepts of the mark a stamp of approval.

Eli Yishai, Israels deputy prime minister and minister of industry, trade, and labor, talked of the importance of the flourishing diamond in Israel and reminded the Israeli delegates that one of his first official duties upon taking up his office had been a visit to the Israeli Diamond Exchange complex. Yishai wished the congress Mazal ubracha.

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