Israel’s diamond industry sets sights on China

Israel’s diamond industry says believes in the potential of China as the next major market for diamonds, and is targeting marketing activities toward that country. In the coming year the Israel Diamond Institute plans to participate in trade exhibitions in China, and to send a high level delegation of diamantaires to visit the country.

Israel’s diamond trade with China is on the rise, since tax regulations were eased on the import of diamonds to that country, Shmuel Schnitzer, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange, who recently returned from a visit to China, where he spoke at the International Diamond Summit Forum in Shanghai. In 2002, according to Israel Diamond Controller, Israel’s polished diamond exports to China nearly tripled to $80.8 million, and indications are that this year they will continue the increase.

“China is an important export market for Israel, and has tremendous growth potential. The liberalization that the government has implemented in the area of diamond imports, as well as additional steps that are expected, will certainly make this market one of our top export targets in the coming years,” Schnitzer said.

Schnitzer noted that many of Israel’s diamantaires were already engaged in joint ventures with diamond companies in China and that the potential was great for expansion in this direction. “It’s clear that the delegation to China which we are planning will open up trade ties between Israeli and Chinese diamantaires. I am hopeful that it will also result in many cooperative business ventures between the two sides,” he said.

Israel Diamond Institute officials said that the mission is being planned for June and will include visits to Beijing, Shanghai and the industrial centers of Panyu and Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, where there are large diamond and jewelry factories.

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