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The future for synthetics lies in that it has become possible to grow a stone you want and make what you want out of it

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De Beers’ GemFair ropes in more than 160 Sierra Leone artisanal miners

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WFDB hosts first WFDB Asia Summit Meeting in Hong Kong

03 july 2009

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) convened its first-ever WFDB Asia Summit Meeting on June 29 in Hong Kong, with the specific aim of strengthening the organization's ties with its member diamond bourses in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.In his opening statement, Avi Paz, WFDB president, noted that Asia will soon be one of the world's leading and most diversified markets for diamonds and diamond jewelry..
"One of the WFDB's tasks is to make its members aware of changes in world markets and, in particular, to distribute essential information about the potential opportunities in Asia. In order to do so, we need to improve communication in both directions," he said.
Paz noted that China has significantly lowered its taxes on diamonds and that, as a result, taxation issues are no longer a barrier for sustainable growth in the country. He went on to point out that countries like Russia and Turkey should take note of how China has opened up its market. "The lowering of barriers is an incentive for cooperation between the Chinese and foreign members. By exchanging information, the respective parties can benefit from the intimate market knowledge they have at their disposal. True, significant and profitable growth of the diamond markets can only be achieved by working together," he stated.
Governments in China, Thailand and Singapore have all taken significant measures to assist the diamond and jewelry industry and trade to bridge the economic downturn, bourse representatives from Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore noted in their reports. The export performance of the Asian markets will greatly depend on how fast the western economies rebound, in particular that of the U.S. Local jewelry consumption has dropped somewhat, but not dramatically.
All participants agreed that the meeting format was most constructive. Paz said that he would gladly make this an annual event, and pledged to schedule the next summit meeting for 2010.  

Yekaterina Davydova, Rough&Polished Asian Bureau Editor in Beijing