India retained its top position in the world diamond trade as exports rose 15% in 2000 over the previous year, Agence France Presse reported Friday.
Exports in 2000 were worth 6.8 billion dollars as against 5.9 billion dollars in 1999, Sanjay Kothari, chairman of the state-sponsored Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council said.
Kothari said India had 55% share by value and 80% share by volume of the global diamond trade.
Kothari attributed the export rise to a ”combination of the pragmatic liberalisation policies of the Indian government and the persistent efforts of our exporters,” the news agency reported. Kothari said the United States continued to be the main market for Indian diamond exporters. South East Asia also responded well, he said, adding that the organization is targeting Australia and New Zealand as new markets.
India’s diamond trade buys small-sized rough diamonds from global trading centers and exports them after getting them cut and polished in hundreds of small low-cost workshops across the country.
Kothari said Indian traders have decided to buy rough diamonds directly from mining centers and save between three and four percent additional costs incurred by buying from trading centers.