De Beers' Varda Shine praises initiative of
Israel Diamond Exchange
at official opening of US/International Diamond Week
|De Beers' Varda Shine (center) cutting the ribbon of the U.S. / International Diamond Week. From left: Avraham (Bumi) Traub; Moti Fluk, IDE vice president; Moti Ganz; Varda Shine; Yair Sahar and Ami Parter, member IDWI organizing committee.|
Executive Vice President, Global Sales, De Beers, Varda Shine praised the initiative of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) as she officially opened the US/International Diamond Week at the exchange on Sunday. "I am delighted to witness the opening of this event which I hope will be the start of a long tradition in Israel," Shine told the hundreds of diamantaires gathered in the exchange's trading hall where the March 17-20 event is taking place.
"With the worldwide situation being volatile, we must find ways to keep going forward. The innovation that we see in Israel is not seen in other countries. There is a great deal of initiative here, and that will keep Israel at the forefront of the global diamond trade," she added.
IDE President Yair Sahar described the event as an "historic moment" and said that Varda Shine had been surprised at the huge interest in the event and the large turnout. He said the global diamond industry had faced great difficulties since the 2008 global financial crisis, but that members of the world's diamond bourses and the diamond producers had all played a part in ensuring the industry would continue to flourish.
"Our bourse has managed to continue and strengthen and I believe we will see a great year in 2013. He thanked the Israeli companies exhibiting at the event and the foreign buyers who flew into Israel to take part, as well as companies who will be holding auctions of rough and polished diamonds and a sale of high-end diamonds and colored gemstones on the last day of the Diamond Week." More than $1 billion of diamonds are being offered for sale.
"This event is putting us on the frontline of the global diamond business. These are the kind of events that will help take us for forward through the next decade," Sahar added.
Israel Diamond Institute Chairman Moti Ganz said the aim of the event was to help the Israeli diamond sector to grow and flourish. "This 'festival of diamonds' is part of our efforts to re-invent ourselves which is crucial to expanding our business. I hope we will see more such diamond festivals in the future."
Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association President Avraham (Bumi) Traub said that by uniting all the elements of the diamond industry it was possible to create large initiatives to the benefit of all members of the trade. "Nothing can be taken for granted. We all have to work hard to create these events in order to help all bourse members."
Some 150 representatives of diamond companies from 15 countries are expected to arrive for the inaugural event in Israel where they will have the opportunity to do business with 190 Israeli firms. The countries include the United States, Italy, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, South Africa, India, Hong Kong, Turkey, Japan, China, Spain, Canada, Russia and Switzerland.
Israeli diamantaire Ori Fogel of Diamond Boutique said: "There is no doubt that this event is breathing new life into the bourse. It is driving us to come to the trading hall and use this new and unique platform - meeting people as a means of doing business. This morning, by chance, I met a supplier that I have known for many years and did my first trade in the US/International Diamond Week. The ability to meet at random a buyer or seller illustrates in the best possible way the advantages of the exchange's trading hall and of this diamond festival compared to events and trading areas in other parts of the world."
The first day of the US/International Diamond Week was concluded with a speech by Home Front Minister Avi Dichter who gave a comprehensive review of Israel's security situation. Dichter, the former head of Israel's domestic security service, spoke about the challenges Israel faces from the Arab world and the difficulties in trying to reach a true and meaningful peace agreement with the Palestinians.
The second day of the event, and the first full day of participation by overseas buyers, on March 18, will see an opening ceremony to be carried out by IDE President Yair Sahar and Diamond Dealers Club of New York President, Reuven Kaufman.