The Gemological Institute of America Board of Governors has approved plans for GIA to expand its global footprint. The organization said Tuesday that it will initiate efforts to strengthen its international presence with new laboratories and research centers as well as educational facilities in Southeast Asia, southern Africa, and other regions around the world. In addition, GIA will add diamond grading services to its existing laboratory and research center in Bangkok.
The board made its decision during its biannual governance meeting at GIA’s Carlsbad, Calif., headquarters.
“The plan will allow GIA to address the rapidly growing significance of gemological centers around the world, while also responding to requests from regional government and trade leaders alike for a stronger global presence,” said Ralph Destino, GIA chairman.
GIA currently operates 14 education facilities, four research centers, and three laboratories in North America, Asia, and Europe, with an education center in Dubai scheduled for completion next year. GIA said the new international expansion plans will allow GIA to bolster its offerings in several significant industry centers.
“We will focus on offering each geographic market a total presence–complete with education, research, and laboratory operations,” said Donna Baker, GIA president. “Our goal is to meet the growing demands of the world’s expanding markets while retaining our commitment to the highest standards of gemology.”
Each laboratory will be fully staffed to support GIA customers on both a regional and international level. Baker added that GIA also is looking closely at other major industry centers.
“We have our global strategy defined and we are confident in our ability to deliver on our mission,” Baker said.