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We need a mechanism to ensure the promotion of Yakut diamond manufacturers in the world market - Yegor Borisov

10 september 2014

The acting head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Yegor Borisov told the Kommersant Daily about the importance of diamonds for the region and why it is necessary to stimulate the development of diamond manufacturing in the republic.
"It is the industry engaged in processing rough diamonds that needs support first of all,” he said. “At the same time, in our opinion, this is where there is a very strong potential for growth. The global diamond jewelry market is worth about $ 75 billion. Meanwhile, annual rough diamond sales reach approximately $ 15 billion. These figures may not be completely accurate, but they clearly reflect the overall picture. The opportunities for growth of the diamond industry in Russia are obvious."
Our processing industry is gaining momentum, but so far it is difficult for us to compete on the federal market and the more so on the world diamond market, the head of the republic said. “To develop the industry, we need a mechanism to ensure the promotion of Yakut diamond manufacturers in the world market. This is the aim of creating a Territory of Primary Social and Economic Development (TOPSED) in Russia’s Far East.”
"It is planned to create several TOPSEDs in the republic. One of them, the Diamond Valley, will develop the processing of rough diamonds. The quality of the Yakut cut has a good reputation in the world market, and this is the segment in which our jewelry companies can achieve the most rapid success under favorable conditions," Yegor Borisov said, explaining that when the TOPSED will start functioning, its residents – diamond cutters and jewelers - will have serious tools to increase their competitiveness in the global market due to special tax and customs regimes to be introduced.
Talking about the difficulties faced by the industry, the head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) pointed to the need to ensure the availability of credit resources and create Yakutia’s own customs terminal, stressing that the resumption of the customs terminal will be a powerful incentive for the development of the diamond industry in the republic. "Foreigners will come to us, to buy stones and execute export paperwork here, and not in Moscow. That's what we ask from the state," Yegor Borisov said.
He also noted the lack of talented diamond cutters in Yakutia and said that decisions on their training had already been made.
Responding to a question about whether Yakutia was expecting some preferences from ALROSA, Yegor Borisov said: "First of all it is necessary to comply with the laws of competition. Of course, it is a pity that Russian diamond cutters are put on an equal footing with global companies. However, such is the strategy of ALROSA - to sell for profit. We are trying to find all the legal possibilities to eliminate any difficulties for our diamond cutting factories, including such as Kristall in Smolensk, firms operating in Moscow and Yakutia, in getting rough. To do this, we have introduced various mechanisms, including for example long-term contracts."
"We are interested in stable and normal operation of ALROSA,” he stressed. “For Yakutia, this company is more than any other enterprise operating in the territory of the republic, because almost 50% of Yakutia’s budget revenue comes from ALROSA."