The global diamond industry received a boost as Hon’ble Lefoko Maxwell Moagi, Minister of Minerals & Energy, Republic of Botswana; De Beers Group’s CEO Al Cook; and Bruce Cleaver, Co-Chairman of De Beers Group met with the leadership of the GJEPC and the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) in Mumbai on 18th April 2023.
Along with Feriel Zerouki, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs at De Beers Group and Vice President, World Diamond Council, the delegation met the Indian diamond industry leaders for discussions on mutual cooperation and development.
The delegates were welcomed by a group of dignitaries including Vipul Shah, Chairman of the GJEPC; Anoop Mehta, President of the BDB; Kirit Bhansali, Vice Chairman of the GJEPC; Mehul Shah, Vice President of the BDB; Ajesh Mehta, Convener, Diamond Panel, GJEPC; and Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director of the GJEPC, along with several other notable individuals.
The association with De Beers has played a pivotal role in the growth of the Indian industry, which today processes 14 out of 15 diamonds set in jewellery worldwide. India has invested billions of dollars in building the infrastructure required for processing diamonds, including modern factories, the Bharat Diamond Bourse, Surat Diamond Bourse, and jewellery factories in SEEPZ. The country has also democratised the diamond pipeline by giving 52 facets to diamonds lesser than 200th of a carat by weight, making them affordable to millions who aspire to own one.
The visit by the De Beers delegation provided a platform for the Indian diamond industry to have a discussion with the mining major on the generic promotion of diamonds and diamond jewellery. GJEPC has been working closely with the Natural Diamond Council (NDC) to promote diamond and diamond jewellery in the USA, China, and India.
Speaking at the event, GJEPC Chairman Vipul Shah said, “I would request De Beers to enhance the contribution for generic promotion of diamonds and diamond jewellery in this challenging geopolitical scenario till things achieve normalcy. We look forward to a productive and inspiring discussion about the future of the diamond industry. I hope that this visit marks the beginning of a new era of collaboration and success for our industry.”
BDB President Anoop Mehta noted, “One of the goals that we wanted to achieve, from the perspective of diamonds, is that most governments all over the world look at diamonds not only through a loupe but a microscope. And the Indian government and authorities who legislate would also do the same. However, in these last 10 years, we’ve been able to change that perception a bit. About a month ago, we were chosen to host the delegates of the G20 by the Government to showcase the sector’s achievements.”
The visit by De Beers and the Botswana Minerals & Energy Minister is a significant development for the global diamond industry, with India’s leadership in diamond processing and De Beers’ position as one of the largest diamond producers globally, the partnership is set to have a positive impact on the industry.
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