Indian Minister Discusses Trade with IDI

Minister of the State of the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, H.E. Kumar Ashwani, visited the Israeli Diamond Industry this week, and was hosted by Israel Diamond Institute chairman Moti Ganz at a luncheon held in his honor.

The luncheon was attended by the Joint Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry Gopal Krishna, India’s ambassador in Israel Arun K. Singh, and other Indian diplomatic representatives in Israel. The luncheon also included Israel Diamond Exchange president Avi Paz, Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association deputy president David De-Toledo, and Israel diamond controller Shmuel Mordechai.

During the event, Israeli diamond leaders raised the need to equate the conditions of activities offered to Indian companies in Israel to those of Israeli companies aspiring to do business in India. The goal, they said, is to promote the possibility of Israeli companies selling diamonds to the local consumer market in India. The parties agreed that joint secretary Krishna, would head an examination of the issues, with the aim of clarifying regulations and guiding Israeli companies in the course of their activities in India.

The industry leaders lauded the activities of ambassador Singh, noting his contribution to greater cooperation between the Israeli and Indian diamond industries. During the first half of 2007 reciprocal trade between Israel and India totaled $1.6 billion, while in all of 2006 it came to $2.7 billion. Israel’s exports to India totaled $1,246 million dollars, with diamonds and precious stones constituting 61 percent of the total export. Israel’s imports from India stood at $1,481 million, with diamonds and precious gems constituting 66% of the total.

IDI has declared India as a strategic target market for the Israeli Diamond Industry in 2008. IDI said it is engaged in preparations for expanded activities in India. This includes consultations with diamond industry members in order to map out the needs of the Israeli industry in India, as well as an examination of the full range of possibilities for cooperation between the Israeli Diamond Industry and its Indian counterpart.