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Third International Rough Diamond Conference pulls in 99% of world's top diamond producers
The event is being strategised to portray the potential of Israel in diamond manufacturing and trading
By: Diamond World News Service
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Jan 31 2008 12:00AM
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Reference: 1397  

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Exceeding expectations, almost 99% of the world’s major rough diamond producers have confirmed their participation for two days between February 11 and 12, 2008, at the Third International Rough Diamond Conference, as reported by the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI).

The attendance encompasses representatives of: the five largest world producers (by value): Botswana, Russia, Canada, Angola and South Africa, top executives of diamond producing companies; De Beers Managing Director Gareth Penny, DTC Managing Director Varda Shine, Alrosa Managing Director Sergei Vybornov, Harry Winston Diamond Corporation President Robert Gannicott, Petra CEO Adonis Pouroulis, Gem Diamonds Managing Director Clifford Elphick, Namdeb Managing Director Inge Zaamwani and Mwana Africa CEO Kalaa Mpinga, African diamond producing countries; Botswana Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Ponatshego Kedikilwe, Lesotho Minister of Natural Resources Monyane Moleleki, Angolan Minister of Geology and Mines Manuel Africano; Liberian Minister of Land, Mines and Energy Eugene Shannon, DRC Deputy Minister of Mines Victor Kasongo, Namibian Diamond Commissioner Kennedy Hamutenya. Prominent rough suppliers; Rockwell Diamonds CEO Jeffrey Brenner, Stornoway Diamond Corp. CEO Eira Thomas, Shore Gold Senior Vice President George Read and Stellar Diamonds CEO Karl Smithson are also expected to arrive.

IDI Managing Director Eli Avidar mentioned that "This is an important opportunity to highlight the advantages of Israel as a manufacturing and trading center. The conference will provide a venue for the world's diamond leadership and the Israeli diamond industry to establish important business ties." The address will be made by Israel Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai, while other speakers include Israeli diamantaire Lev Leviev, Director-General of the Diamond Administration of China Li Mu and India's Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council's Praveen Shankar Pandya.

IDI Chairman Moti Ganz said "During the past year 69% of the world's rough diamonds by value were traded in Israel, while Israeli manufacturers cut and polished more than half of the world's gem quality rough. This makes Israel of key strategic importance to the rough diamond industry.”

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