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Diamond Exchange in Russia's Far East will be tested already in 2016

20 january 2016
(FINMARKET.RU) - Demand for a diamond exchange trading floor in the Far East is there, believes Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District.
"It is definitive that we shall open and test this trading floor in 2016. However, plans are one thing, but we have to be sure that it is doable in reality. As for changes in the legislation, we will try to analyze what can be done," Yury Trutnev said in an interview to the Vedomosti Daily.
According to him, the talk that the new diamond trading floor will immediately start competing with other trading floors, which have been operating for many decades, looks strange. "But demand for such a floor is there," said the Deputy Prime Minister.
"China is now the second-largest consumer of diamonds in the world. Japan is a major consumer. The US can also be attributed to the Asia-Pacific region. The market is very large. We have to try this area," Yury Trutnev said.
He recalled that Russia is now selling unpolished diamonds, "while there are two more degrees of processing: cutting diamonds and making jewelry."
"And we are just selling them like cobblestones, losing money even in the course of such sales. We must move towards increasing the added value," the envoy said.
"There will be no revolutions. We are not going to hang out a flag in Vladivostok and say that people will buy diamonds from ALROSA only there. There are no such plans, but we are going to get the feel of such a trading floor, start talks with the traditional buyers from China to find out if it will be more convenient for them to come to Vladivostok without going to Antwerp (to the Diamond Bourse in Antwerp, Belgium). Such conversations are underway. The response is positive," Yury Trutnev said.
The Deputy Prime Minister stated that the Diamond Exchange there is yet to recruit personnel.
"And I do not see anything wrong if we will invite someone from existing brokers. They are not fastened with screws to Antwerp, for the most part they are citizens of other countries," he added.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the creation of an educational platform "is not even the second but the third step."
"To start, you need a trading floor, you need to train people, to create a market, to ensure that we are visited by customers. And then we must look at the issue of diamond cutting. When we have only uttered the word "cutting", the reaction was very nervous. We were immediately told that it is impossible and cannot be done. I do not completely understand, why we cannot do this. It does not sound very nice, but right now our neighbors have no advantage in terms of labor cost. We have always had excellent craftsmen and artists. Therefore, there is no doubt that we shall cope. We just need to start," Yury Trutnev said.
"For some reason, all decided that we are going to command at ALROSA, giving rough at a loss to Russian manufacturers for cutting. We shall not do this. To get income from the second stage of diamond processing is not the task of ALROSA, it is the task of the state. So if we want to have diamond manufacturing in Russia, the government should create preferences for the Russian cutting industry," he added.
The Deputy Prime Minister specified that the set of possible preferences is known: as a rule, this includes administrative and fiscal regulations and possibly financing.
"Currently, we have a big problem in regulating the turnover of diamonds and precious metals. To create the diamond exchange, we will do without large changes in the laws. But if we want to develop diamond cutting and jewelry manufacturing further, we shall have to grapple with our requirements to transportation and storage of precious metals and stones. The regulation in this part is quite cumbersome," he said.