Presidents of the different diamond bourses from across the world who have assembled in Mumbai for the ongoing WFDB-IDMA Presidents Meeting have unanimously agreed to work in close cooperation with the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) in order to help boost its generic diamond marketing efforts.
The office bearers of the WFDB led by President Ernie Blom had in-depth discussions with Jean-Marc Lieberherr, CEO of the DPA in this regard. Earlier, Lieberherr addressed the meeting, providing an update on the work the DPA had undertaken and said that the organisation is planning to significantly increase its investment in the United States, and plans to enter the Indian market in September 2017 and China in January 2018. “Their budget for the coming campaign is expected to be about US$ 60 million,” Blom said, pointing out that this will allow it to invest in more sophisticated and long-term programmes.
The WFDB-supported World Diamond Mark (WDM) initiative will work closely with the DPA on generic promotions, it was also decided.
During his presentation to the meeting, Blom laid out the challenges facing the global diamond business, but urged colleagues to remain positive in order to deal with them. "Although the issues of financing, mixing of undisclosed synthetic stones and others are difficult, we must be determined in dealing with them." There are many bright spots from which the trade can draw great confidence, he said, including the tax agreements in Belgium and Israel last year and the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council's (GJEPC) generic diamond promotion campaigns in India with De Beers. In addition, the GJEPC has become a full WFDB member and the Federation is working on bringing in more members, Blom told the meeting.
The meeting also discussed the issue of synthetic diamonds. Bharat Diamond Bourse President Anoop Mehta spoke about the widespread efforts the Indian diamond trade has taken in providing detection equipment and seminars on the issue for traders to prevent mixing of the natural and synthetic pipelines. Ashish Mehta, convenor of the Natural Diamond Monitoring Committee, the body established by the Indian trade to monitor the scope of synthetic diamond trading, especially undisclosed mixing, spoke about the work of the GJEPC across India in this regard.
The DPA also announced an initiative to combat undisclosed synthetic diamonds by establishing an independent diamond screening equipment testing lab to test the range of detection machines available. "The project will be led by the DPA, but will involve key industry organizations, including the WFDB and GJEPC, and main equipment manufacturers so that the solution delivered meets the needs of the industry and satisfies the manufacturers' expectations of independence and objectivity," Lieberherr explained.
The WFDB Presidents agreed a proposal to engage with the International Grown Diamond Association, with Ernie Blom saying he will seek to create a dialogue with the organisation.
WFDB Vice President Yoram Dvash told the gathering that the 2018 World Diamond Congress will be hosted by the Israeli diamond trade in Tel Aviv in May or June next year.
Pic caption: WFDB President Ernie Blom seen with WFDB Vice-President Yoram Dvash and GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya.