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36th World Diamond Congress
By: Diamond World News Service
Aug 14 2014 5:50PM
Reference: 9436  

The 36th World Diamond Congress concluded in Antwerp, Belgium. The discussions made were about industry financing, transparency and compliance issues, synthetic diamonds, laboratory services, industry communications and other important issues. The congress was scheduled between June 15 to 18, 2014. Diamond World brings you a report.

The 36th World Diamond Congress completed in Antwerp, Belgium, and echoedmétier in the attendance and the presence of international diamond, gemstone and jewellery industry organisation delegates. These included the representatives of 30 bourses affiliated to the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), 15 members of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), the two bodies that organise the biennial world diamond congresses. CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation and the World Diamond Council joined them.

WFDB President Ernest Blom said that he was very pleased with the strong attendance of the WFDB affiliate bourses and with the topics that were raised and covered. “At the heart of our discussions were the sustainability and reputation of the diamond industry and trade at large.” Among others, the WFDB resolved to build on its communications strategy and to expedite communications on a global level.

IDMA President Maxim Shkadov said the IDMA members and the WFDB had held long and intense discussions on the diamond supply chain. "We talked at length about issues such as financing and the manufacturers' relationships with the banks and other financial institutions active in the diamond industry and trade. In addition, we expressed our concern regarding the significant diversities of laboratory diamond grading standards and their impact on consumer confidence in diamonds; spoke about the DDI and the necessity of promoting advances in social and economic conditions throughout the diamond mining sector worldwide; and reviewed the FATF report about money laundering," Shkadov noted. "And these are just a few out of the many other topics raised," he said.

The WFDB and IDMA resolved that the 2015 Presidents' Meeting will take place in Ramat Gan, Israel and the 37th World Diamond Congress in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

The members of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA) concluded their deliberations, after raising and discussing a long list of topics that weigh heavily on the minds of diamond manufacturers worldwide. IDMA President Maxim Shkadov emphasised at the concluding press conference on June 19 that his organisation was facing many challenges, which all, in one way or another, were related to manufacturers' lack of profitability.

"Our industry's relationships with the banks and financial institutions that partner with the international diamond industry and trade were on the top of our long agenda," Shkadov continued. "First of all, we wish to enhance and solidify the longstanding, mutually beneficial relationship between the diamond industry and its banking partners worldwide. Therefore, in recognition of the industry's dependence on a healthy and enduring long-term relationship with financial institutions, the IDMA members resolved to engage the industry's bankers in constructive dialogue, so that industry members may better understand the intricacies of international and domestic regulatory changes that continue to impact client relationships," Shkadov stated.

In their talks about the rough diamond market and the changes in the supply chain of rough diamonds to the industry, the meeting resolved to communicate to the rough diamond producers their deep concerns about the viability of the diamond manufacturing industry.

The meeting also spent considerable time discussing the significant discrepancies that have surfaced between laboratory diamond grading standards. The discussion's participants, who were joined by diamond industry analyst Martin Rapaport, expressed their concern about the potential negative impact this may have on consumer protection/consumer confidence in diamonds.

In addition, the IDMA members heard reports on the Precious Stones Multi-Stakeholder Working Group (PSMSWG) and on the Diamond Development Initiative, and the necessity of promoting advances in social and economic conditions throughout the diamond mining sector worldwide. The meeting resolved to encourage members to take part in the PSMSWG discussions.

Alan Martin of Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), who was invited to participate in the meetings, addressed IDMA members about the recent FATF report on the diamond sector. The participants then discussed the seriousness of the issues raised in the report and the need to address potential vulnerabilities.

The topic of synthetic/lab grown diamonds resulted not only in a demand to continue the efforts of detection and the need for proper disclosure, but also a call on the diamond industry trade to engage in constructive dialogue with the synthetic diamond growers The IDMA members also echoed the long-standing requirement for full disclosure of any diamond treatment, and voted that the following statement should appear on all invoices for sales of natural, untreated diamonds: "The diamond(s) contained herein are natural and untreated."

IDMA also accepted the resignation of its long-serving vice president Vasant Mehta, of India. IDMA members thanked Mehta, a former chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), for the many years of service he devoted to IDMA and the international diamond industry at large, stating that "his participation, wisdom and contributions to our discussions and decision making will be sorely missed."

The meeting appointed Suresh Shah, Convener of the GJPEC's Diamond Panel, to replace Mehta on the board and to serve as vice president in his stead.

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