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Israeli Minister encourages support for the IDI during visit
This was his first visit to the IDI
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 27 2009 1:47PM
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Reference: 3848  

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Making his first visit ever to the Israeli Diamond Industry, Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Benyamin Ben-Eliezer interacted with officials of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI), the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) and the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA), and shared views on the industry's growth. Minister Ben Eliezer attributed great importance to the Israeli Diamond Industry, saying, "This is one of the cornerstones of Israel’s export industries.”

During their interaction with the Minister, IDI Chairman and IsDMA President Moti Ganz put forth the concern of the industry, which has been deeply impacted by the world economic crisis, especially in the area of credit. He said that since the beginning of the crisis in October the industry had cut its bank credit from $2.4 billion to $1.6 billion. He called on the government to provide credit guarantees similar to those enjoyed by other Israeli industries in order to deal with the credit crunch.

IDE President Avi Paz also expressed that despite the economic crisis, diamantaires from abroad were seeking to join the exchange. He added that Israel government support for credit, marketing and employer costs would help maintain the industry workforce and contribute to job creation. Minister Ben Eliezer gave a positive feedback saying, “I believe that from every crisis stems opportunities. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor will do all it can to support the industry during this period. Together we must see how the diamond industry can emerge from this crisis even stronger.” The Minister invited industry leaders to present a detailed plan for government assistance which he would present to the government.

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