Israeli jewelry manufacturers and diamantaires seek joint ventures

Israeli diamond companies had the opportunity explored joint ventures with jewelry manufacturers at an exhibition and get-together organized by the Diamonds, Precious Stones & Jewelry Administration in the Israel Ministry of Industry & Trade on May 18 and 19. The event was held in the Rough Trading Hall of the Israel Diamond Exchange.

This was the third annual exhibition, which was pioneered by Udi Sheintal, Israel’s Diamond Controller and head of the Diamonds, Precious Stones & Jewelry administration, together with Ilan Samuel, a diamantaire who also chairs the Board of Jewelry Manufacturers. Sheintal says he believes the potential for joint ventures between the two branches of industry is very great.

“These are two industries that export almost all of their production, and for years both have been doing this separately,” Sheintal said in a statement. “Today both industries are seeking to diversify in order to expand their markets and to increase profits. We have already seen significant business based on cooperative efforts.”

The event was sponsored by the Israel Diamond Exchange, the Israel Diamond Institute, the Diamond Manufacturers’ Association, the Israel Export Institute, the Jewelry Manufacturers’ Association and the Ministry.

Israel, one of the world’s largest exporters of polished diamonds, has a growing jewelry manufacturing industry. In 2002, Israel exported $400 million worth of jewelry, mostly to the United States and Europe. One such manufacturer is JAFA Gold International Ltd., which in 2002 exported $15 million worth of gold tennis bracelets to the United States, where they were set with diamonds. The factory, established five years ago in Ofakim uses the latest in CNC technology and employs 140 workers. Yossi Marco, the owner, hopes that by participating in this exhibition he will find the business connections to begin setting the bracelets in Israel, using diamonds manufactured here.

Shmuel Schnitzer, President of the Israel Diamond Exchange, said that he is confident that cooperation will ensue.

“It is very gratifying to meet these jewelry manufacturers, and to see the world-class quality of their products,” Schnitzer said. “There is a great opportunity here for cooperation. We are very optimistic that these two days will result in successful business ventures for both sides.”