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Mines to Market 2010 Frankly Speaking
The strongest message to come out of the Mines to Market Conference 2010, which concluded with great success on October 13thwas -- India has arrived
By: Diamond World News Service
Jan 20 2011 1:26PM
Reference: 5667  

GJEPC’s International Diamond Conference was characterised by some frank discussions on issues that are most often not addressed openly by the industry , and the candid acknowledgement that India has arrived at the centre stage of the world industry. A Diamond World report.

The strongest message to come out of the Mines to Market Conference 2010, which concluded with great success on October 13thwas -- India has arrived. Presentations of speakers from outside the country as well as from those within, starting with Keynote Speaker Gareth Penny, to the end, all strongly brought out India’s leadership position in the diamond industry.

The participation of senior representatives of many of the important mining companies and countries, diamond manufacturers and retailers, banks and laboratories in the two day conference also underscored the importance of the India centre on the global stage.

On the other hand, the conference also proved once again to be a platform for open discussion where real issues were aired and discussed candidly, whether it was the question of Zimbabwe’s Marange diamonds, round tripping by a few players in the Indian industry, or a transparent and credible system for availing bank finance among others. Some of these are issues that have long been discussed behind closed doors and in hushed tones, and perhaps for the first time were frankly addressed from the stage of a public conference.

The Conference also generated some positive actions with the Zimbabwe delegation visiting Surat to finalise the outlines of a Memorandum of Understanding with the newly formed SRDSIL that was subsequently formalised in Harare, and some of the leading stakeholders of the industry sending a clear message that they were keen to take ahead suggestions regarding the joint marketing and promotions of the category of diamond jewellery.

Inauguration: Defining the Context

The Inaugural Session set the tone for much of the discussion over the next two days, as it touched both upon the crisis as well as the way forward from there and some of the new alignments that would perhaps shape the industry in the years ahead.

Following the traditional lighting of the lamp, Chief Guest Hon’ble Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State, Commerce & Industry, Government of India, declared the proceedings open in the presence of Hon’ble Obert Mpofu, Minister of Mines, Zimbabwe, Rajiv Jain, Chairman, Sanjay Kothari, Vice Chairman, Vasant Mehta, former Chairman and Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director, GJEPC.

The Minister welcomed the overseas delegations and expressed the hope that the Conference would further cement ties between the Indian industry and the participating companies and countries. “The Indian diamond industry seeks to actively strengthen its ties with all rough producing countries and companies involved in mining rough diamonds, on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit. The Government of India and the Indian diamond industry is committed to beneficiation in African countries and extends all co-operation to help those countries to foster its skill base through training. This is it committed to doing strictly under KPCS compliance.”

Outlining India’s leading position in the diamond sector, he said that the government had taken a number of steps to create an enabling environment, and hoped that it would lead to India becoming “a global diamond trading hub..... in as short a time as possible."

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