Antwerp International Diamond Conference

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre, previously known as the HRD, is completing preparations for its first international diamond conference since 2004. The fourth major diamond conference on Oct. 15-16, will include internationally known speakers and participants and has drawn the attention of the global diamond trade.

In line with its position as the center of the global diamond industry, Antwerp will welcome heads of state and other senior ministers from diamond producing states, heads of the leading companies in the sector, and a Nobel Prize winner to discuss and analyze the changes in the diamond trade. The conference has been designed to enable the views of all the industry’s stakeholders to be heard.

Princess Mathilde of Belgium and Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson, the president of Liberia who was elected in 2005 and is Africa’s first elected female head of state, will attend the gala dinner Oct. 15. Former pop star Sir Bob Geldof will be the guest speaker.

The 2007 conference is titled ‘Producers in transition: the changing industry dynamic.’ It will focus on the shift of power in the diamond industry, and in particular the emerging strength of the producer countries and their determination to capture more of the “value chain.” With the demands of African diamond producers being met that more diamonds be sorted and processed on home soil, and the passage of legislation making this a statutory obligation, the conference will deal with the burning issue affecting the worldwide diamond business.

Among the other major figures taking part in the conference are deputy prime minister of Angola Aguinaldo Jaime; South African minister of minerals and Energy Buyelwa Sonjica; Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz; Kimberley Process chairman Karel Kovanda; Sergey Vybornov, president of Alrosa; and Gareth Penny, managing director of De Beers, and many other leading figures.

Registration for the conference can be made at: www.antwerpdiamondconference.be.