The World Federation of Diamond Bourses meets in Tel Aviv today at a time when issues including vanishing profits, a perceived lack of transparency, high prices of rough diamonds and questions over provenance and accurate grading of stones are all crowding in on the industry.
In a pre-conference address, Erni Blom, chairman of the WFDB admitted: “There is no shortage of challenges. Our members face an uphill battle on a daily basis to secure funding and we also face an almost impossible position due to the high prices of rough that we, as an industry, are paying and are responsible for.”
WFDB president Ernie Blom struck an upbeat note ahead of the main event, but conceded that members needed to work together to tackle these challenges.
“We now look forward to the official opening ceremony on Monday, and the speeches of a cross-section of diamond industry participants that will further flesh out our views on the direction of the global diamond trade and how we can improve conditions for our members.
“The WFDB, and the IDMA (Israel Diamond Exchange), will then split into working sessions where we will discuss these themes further. These include the challenge of industry financing and falling profitability, overgrading, synthetic stones, generic marketing and other subjects. I believe this meeting will provide the opportunity for positive discussions that will enable us to lay out our positions very clearly.”