Generic diamond promotion discussed at beginning of Presidents’ Meeting

 Generic diamond promotion discussed at beginning of Presidents’ MeetingThe morning of the day the Presidents’ Meeting unfolded, on June 14th at the Tel Aviv Hilton hotel, a core group of presidents of bourses affiliated to the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) joined heads to discuss a chief industry issue – generic promotion of diamonds in the global consumer market.

The third edition of the WDM Think Tank Meeting took place, where participants included, among others, Shmuel Schnitzer, who is also an Honorary WFDB President; WFDB President Ernest Blom; Maxim Shkadov, President of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA); Alex Popov; Edward Asscher, President of the World Diamond Council; Vipul Shah, Chairman of the Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC); Suresh Shah, GJEPC Diamond Convener; Mehul Shah, Vice President of the Bharat Diamond Bourse, India; Rami Baron, President of the Diamond Dealers Club of Australia; Marcel Pruwer, President of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse; Roman Samunenkov, deputy head of the Gohkran, the State Repository of Precious Metals and Diamonds of Russia; Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President, and Feriel Zerouki, Head of Government and Industry Relations, of the De Beers Group; Nir Livnat, Managing Director of Steinmetz Diamonds; Elliott Tannenbaum, CEO of Leo Schachter Israel; Frank Mueller, an international luxury industry expert and consultant; Futhi Mvelase, South Africa’s State Diamond Trader, and David Lasher, general manager of the Diamond Dealers Club of New York.

Moderated by Popov, the forum conducted an intensive dialogue about the conditions and terms needed to unify the overwhelming majority of the players in the industry supply pipeline toward an agreed and well-supported diamond promotion program, possibly with the WDMF as the catalyst. Also, some of the discussion participants lauded the creation of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), but at the same time asked if and how the DPA will be cooperating with these new, joint industry efforts.

The Think Tank discussion followed the WFDB Trade Promotion Committee meeting.

During this, a report of the progress made by the World Diamond Mark Foundation (WDMF) was read. The report, delivered by WDMF Chairman Alex Popov, offered an overview of the organization’s successful promotional activities in a variety of niche markets, such as the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. WDMF Program Director Krisztina Kalman-Schueler gave a presentation of future projects that include consumer oriented diamond fashion shows and exhibitions in larger markets, such as the United States.

Israel Diamond Exchange President Shmuel Schnitzer mentioned that amongst the various key issues faced by the industry today, ‘the most important of which is the changing consumer preferences in the luxury product market. Add to that the difficulties of rough diamond procurement and pricing, industry financing and a relatively weak demand for polished in various consumer markets’. He further added that, “fortunately, this meeting is well attended by representatives of the producers, such as De Beers and ALROSA, governmental delegations from African diamond producing nations, such as Botswana, Congo and Zimbabwe, and last but not least, presidents from the majority of diamond bourses and manufacturers associations, and other industry players. These type of meetings are important as they set the atmosphere for the discussions yet to come at this Meeting.”

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