IDI to Hold Rough Diamond Conference

The Israel Diamond Institute will hold its third “International Rough Diamond Conference: Tribute to the Producers” on Feb. 11-12, 2008, in Tel Aviv. A key event on next year’s calendar of the international diamond industry, the conference will bring a host of ministers of African diamond countries to Israel where they will share the podium with the world’s leading diamond producers.

“Greater efficiencies in the diamond value chain have prompted more diamond producers to market their rough diamonds through Tel Aviv. Producers have found that they can optimize revenue and enhance values by working directly with the manufacturers of gem-quality diamonds,” said IDI Chairman Moti Ganz.

“Rio Tinto and Alrosa have been holding tenders in Tel Aviv while Diamdel, reversing a previous decision, has now reiterated its commitment to keep an active trading office in Tel Aviv,” Ganz added. “The stringent adherence by Israel to the Kimberley Process Rough Certification Scheme and the soon-to-be-adopted Israeli diamond industry-specific anti-money laundering legislation, which will be among the strictest in the industry, are contributing to the producers’ confidence in Israel as a preferred manufacturing and trading center.”

Ganz said that the presence of Israel’s prime minister and the nation’s senior economic ministers at the conference will underscore the close relationship between industry and government, which has made Israel such an attractive enabling environment for the diamond industry and trade.

Eli Avidar, IDI Managing Director, said that Israel imported approximately $5 billion worth of rough diamonds per year in recent years, and that in 2007 rough imports have jumped 20 percent over the previous year.

Avidar said that he would release more details about the conference and the social program shortly.