India to hold international diamond conference in May

India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council will host the International Diamond Conference – Mines to Markets, 2005 on May 24 and 25 in Mumbai.

Senior representatives in the diamond world of the diamond pipeline will attend the conference, as well as, participants from important gemological institutes and labs, financial institutions, and senior representatives of the governments of important diamond mining countries. The conference will serve as a forum to discuss major issues that the diamond industry faces.

India entered the world cut and polished diamond market when it commenced exports in the late 1960s. In less than three decades, India had emerged as the clear leader in the international polished market. Over the past five years, India has not only maintained its position as the leading diamond manufacturing centre, it has also increased its share of the market.

Today, India imports over 75% of all rough diamonds produced in the world. Of the world polished market, India has a 60% share in terms of value, 85% in terms of carats and 92% in terms of the number of pieces, according to the GJEPC.

In addition, the gem and jewelry industry has been growing at an average of 30% annually for the past few years. In 2004, total gems and jewelry exports stood at $14.68 billion; exports of cut and polished diamonds amounted to $10.34 billion; and exports of gold jewelry amounted to $3.67 billion.

During the past five years, India has moved from primarily small diamond manufacturer to a country that also is skilled at polishing larger more valuable stones as well as having the ability create new diamond cuts. The country has the largest number of laser diamond cutting machines in the world. Also, during that time, the country has expanded the quantity and quality of jewelry that it offers.

GJEPC has set a goal of $16 billion in exports by the year 2007.