A rare public feud has erupted between the heads of two leading diamond organizations.
On Feb. 18, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association’s Moscow-based president, Maxim Shkadov, released a statement that singled out India as a source of the industry’s credit woes.
“In India in particular, bankers have allowed clients…to serve the narrow and destructive interest of speculating on rough prices,” Shkadov said. “Add to that the infamous phenomenon of ’round-tripping’ of diamonds that was so brilliantly exposed by a well known industry commentator and you have identified some of the ‘circulatory’ problems’ that our industry has been experiencing in recent years.”
Round-tripping refers to companies engaging in repeated diamond imports and exports in order to improve their bank financing.
Shkadov’s comments received a sharp rebuke a few days later from Vipul Shah, chair of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.
“It is astonishing to note an uncalled for statement made by the IDMA president against its largest stakeholder in diamond manufacturing globally,” said Shah’s statement. “It is really disheartening to note his appalling remarks against India, time and again.… Anybody [who] makes statements singling out any individual country, not only that is in bad taste, but it is also devoid any thought process or wisdom.”
It noted that GJEPC has repeatedly condemned “speculation,” which it called “an alarming phenomenon.”
GJEPC called for other industry bodies to disavow the statement.