Also participating were diamond leaders from around the world including Alrosa President Sergei Ivanov, WFDB President Ernie Blom, CIBJO President Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri, Bharat Diamond Bourse VP Mehul Shah, Dubai’s DMCC Executive Chairman and CEO Ahmed Bin Sulayem, London Diamond Exchange President Alan Cohen and Honorary President of the World Diamond Council Eli Izhakoff.
The ceremony was also attended by Ramat Gan Mayor Carmel ShamaHacohen, and Israeli diamond leaders Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) President Yoram Dvash, Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (ISDMA) Jacob Korn, Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) Boaz Moldawsky and Chairman of the IDWI 2020 Ezra Boaron.
The show, which features more than $1 billion worth of diamonds will continue through February 12, 2020. Among the 300 buyers from around the world were 110 buyers who arrived in Israel for the first time.
In his opening remarks IDE President Yoram Dvash said, "I am delighted to see all the distinguished guests who came from Israel and abroad. This year, a record number of buyers and delegations from around the world have arrived here.”He said that thetotal number of participants would have been larger, but that due to the emergency declared in China, many of the East Asian buyers were not able to attend. “We all hope that the Chinese will soon be able to control the spread of the corona virus and that the entire world will breathe a sigh of relief.”
Dvash added, "We are at the beginning of 2020 and we very much hope that this year will be one of recovery in the markets. In light of the reductions in rough allocation by some producers, shortages have been created and demand for certain goods has grown. This is certainly a step that will allow an adjustment in the global levels of rough and polished goods. We hope that this trend will continue in the coming months, and will create new opportunities for theworld diamond industry. "
Later in the day Martin Rapaport, President of the Rapaport Group delivered an address entitled "Making Challenges into Opportunities." Rapaport spoke of the importance of upholding values in marketing diamonds, especially to the younger generations who wish to make the world a better place. He called upon the diamond producers to reduce prices of rough diamonds by 30% to ensure market liquidity and to invest larger sums in generic marketing. Rapaport also spoke of the power of diamonds, saying “diamonds mean something because they are worth something,” and called on diamantaires to sell value and meaning rather than sparkle.
The second day of the International Diamond Week in Israel will feature a professional panel entitled “Traceability & Provenance from Supply Chain to Manufacturing and Retail.” Day three will feature a lecture by Oded Edelman, CEO of R2Net and James Allen about the role of e-commerce in selling diamonds.