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Diamond industry’s financial challenges discussed at Antwerp Diamond Seminar
The event was attended by Former President of Europe Herman Van Rompuy
By: Diamond World News Service
Apr 1 2015 8:42PM
Reference: 11326  

Former President of Europe Herman Van Rompuy spoke of financial challenges faced by the diamond community, making his keynote speech at the Antwerp Diamond Seminar. The event took place on March 27, amongst over 250 members of the diamond community attending.

The seminar was organised by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. In his speech, Van Rompuy presented a broad vision of EU’s current financial position within a rapidly changing world. He said “We need ‘more’ Europe. The biggest danger today is an inward-looking fear of openness. We can only survive in a global world, but we have to draw all the necessary conclusions from this fundamental choice.” He also warned of the risk of “secular stagnation… Too much saving and not enough investment”. He reflected on a changing geopolitical situation.

AWDC CEO, Ari Epstein noted a reflection on the ‘health of our industry today’ and areas for strengthening it need to be analysed. He emphasized the interdependence of Antwerp and Europe, and said it was important that Antwerp to continue to fulfil its position as a “role model for the global diamond industry”. The seminar also included a discussion panel of industry financial experts - Anish Aggarwal, Partner of Gemdax,; Des Kilalea, Managing Director at RBC Capital Markets Europe, and with a specialization in diamond and diversified mining companies; Kishore Lall, Managing Director & Global Head, Diamond & Jewelry Group (D&J), Standard Chartered Bank, and; Sabine Smets, Head Belgium for the Diamond and Jewellery Clients (D&JC), part of International Clients within ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

The panel experts identified key areas of discussion – liquidity issue, liquidity being inseparable from bankability, sustainability, profitability and transparency, whether the industry was ready to sufficiently change its way of doing business to enable investment, the issue of transparency which could reassign Antwerp its leadership position in the industry, the possibility of more banks funding the sector, inter-relationship between financing and producer strategies, including rough diamond pricing,

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