Israel’s new Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Benyamin Ben-Eliezer pledged his support for Israel’s diamond industry during his first official visit.
“This is one of the cornerstones of Israel’s export industries,” he said. “I believe that from every crisis stem opportunities. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor will do all it can to support the industry during this period. Together we must see how the diamond industry can emerge from this crisis even stronger.”
Israel Diamond Institute Chairman and IsDMA President Moti Ganz told the minister that the industry was deeply impacted by the world economic crisis, especially in the area of credit. He said that since the beginning of the crisis in October the industry had cut its bank credit from $2.4 billion to $1.6 billion. He called on the government to provide credit guarantees similar to those enjoyed by other Israeli industries in order to deal with the credit crunch.
IDE President Avi Paz said that despite the economic crisis diamantaires from abroad were seeking to join the exchange. He added that Israel government support for credit, marketing and employer costs would help maintain the industry workforce and contribute to job creation.
During the visit the Minister met with the officials of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI), the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) and the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA), and had lunch with a group of diamond leaders. In addition, the Minister toured the Israel Diamond complex and visited the trading hall.